29 September 2022: Living with leprosy in Nepal
Having spoken to us about the work of The Leprosy Mission when she came in March, Daisy Mansfield returned today to talk specifically about what the Mission is doing in Nepal. She started by giving us a short quiz to see how much we remembered about leprosy. None of us got all the answers right.
Nepal is home to one of the Mission’s research facilities at Anandaban Hospital. Daisy showed us some videos about their work, including “before and after” videos of a young male patient who had both legs amputated below the knee when he was only five. He never thought he would walk again or be able to get a job but he has now been fitted with prosthetic limbs and has learned to walk with them. That could turn his life round.
We also saw a couple of videos the Paralympian Stef Reid when she visited Anandaban Hospital. We saw her talking to the amputee in the previous videos. As someone who had lost a leg herself, she was able to empathise with him and understood something of what he must be going through.
Anandaban’s work does not only benefit those who suffer from leprosy. It has been conducting research into ways of helping wounds to heal more quickly. They can now use a treatment which involves covering the wound with a membrane made from the patient’s own white cells. This has helped those who have lesions and wounds caused by leprosy but can also be used for those who have suffered wounds for other reasons.
Anandaban functions primarily as a leprosy hospital and research centre but it was also able to treat those who had been injured during the earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015.
Unfortunately Anandaban Hospital is showing its age. The research centre may have to be closed unless the funds can be raised to undertake further maintenance and bring it up to modern standards.