NLT’s work at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Services Centre (LLHSC) has supported the Leprosy Control Programme of the Nepal Government since 1993. Part of
this work has involved building up the capacity of government health staff, to be able to deliver a more effective leprosy service from their own health posts in the community. A purpose-built training centre at Lalgadh facilitates this, and we have made a special effort to teach health staff more “prevention-of-disability” skills so that people with leprosy have a better chance of avoiding the crippling complications of the disease. Certain features, spotted early on, can be managed and prevented from developing into permanent impairment with all the associated difficulties.
Along with Government health staff, LLHSC has trained many ‘grassroots’ health workers, such as Mother and Child Health Volunteers, Village Health Workers, Traditional Healers, etc in the basics of leprosy diagnosis and treatment. These people are important and trusted allies in the community, who can encourage people who may have leprosy to come for treatment before permanent damage is done. LLHSC has also trained many other other influential community groups such as teachers, scouts, community leaders, etc for more effective leprosy control.
A very important group that we also work with in this area, is that of people affected by leprosy themselves. They have the personal experience to back up their words of encouragement to others in their community. We work hard to give them the basic knowledge and skills to enable them to spot possible cases in their villages and discreetly encourage them to go for treatment. Many of our Self Help Group members have been very effective at encouraging new cases to come for treatment and so people affected by leprosy have become important contributors in leprosy control.