Anandaban Leprosy Hospital is the largest speciality leprosy unit in Nepal, and receives patients from all over Nepal and India. The hospital’s activities are not just based at Anadaban (near Kathmandu), but they stretch all over the country, with four regular clinics around Nepal.
95% of the world’s population is immune to leprosy, it’s the 5% who are living in the poorest conditions and the lowest immune systems who can contract this disease. Leprosy is a disease that damages the nerves on the skin’s surface, the first outward sign of leprosy is usually light numb patches on the skin. If treated immediately with a simple course of drugs permanent damage disability is highly unlikely, but if the leprosy is left untreated this can lead to clawed hands, loss of limbs, permanent numbness and blindness. Due to stigma caused by leprosy many patients are shunned from their families, communities and work, even after treatment.
Through this series I look at the process gone through from discovering the light patches related to Leprosy and the stigma that can cause, to treatment, and then looking at the patients and their children’s lives after the Leprosy treatment.