Bal Krishna [19] is a student from Banke district. ­Three years ago, he noticed small patches on his left knee. When he went to the local hospital, he was diagnosed with leprosy and began multi-drug therapy.

Despite regularly taking his medication, Bal Krishna’s fingers began to claw on one hand. He was extremely worried that this visible sign of leprosy would mean his peers would discriminate against him.

­This year, in conjunction with the Nepal Government’s Department of Health, Green Pastures Hospital held a reconstructive surgery camp for people affected by leprosy. Reconstructive surgery services are extremely limited in western Nepal, but have life-changing potential for patients with stigmatising conditions.

Bal Krishna attended the camp and had his hand corrected. He went on to stay at the hospital for over three weeks, where he received health education, counselling, healthy food and follow-up care. With this kind of holistic support, he left the hospital with a new level of confidence and strong sense of dignity.

Bal Krishna’s story features in INF Australia’s latest Annual Report 2018-19. The report highlights INF’s work across Nepal to empower communities, provide health care and prepare for disasters. You can read it here.