Since 1952, INF has cared for Nepal’s poor and disadvantaged people since 1952. Motivated by faith, hope, compassion and love, INF will continue to serve the needy people even during this COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 poses a great threat to the vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities, adding a financial burden to already weak and deprived leprosy-affected people. For a country like Nepal, with a weak health system, people with leprosy face many challenges.
Not only it is difficult for leprosy-affected people to get to the hospital, but it is practically uncomfortable to wash their hands frequently as a measure of health hygiene during the current pandemic. As leprosy is heavily linked with poverty, many vulnerable people cannot afford even a bar of soap or hand sanitiser. Failure to access appropriate medical treatment or support during lockdowns, can lead many people with leprosy to experience other disabilities, including blindness.
And COVID-19 is not only a health risk. Because of the fear and stigma surrounding the disease, a person with leprosy who tests positive to COVID-19 or who is thought to have contracted the disease, experiences double stigmatisation. This can lead to neglect, hatred and even traumatisation.
More than three thousand people are treated for leprosy in Nepal every year. Many of them are victims of social exclusion and malnutrition. Many don’t seek specialist medical treatment due to the lack of knowledge and fear of stigma.
Restraining corona pandemic, timely action in managing leprosy
कोरोना महामारीमा हाम्रो संयमता, समयमै कुष्ठरोगको व्यवस्थापनमा सक्रियता
World Leprosy Day is observed internationally every year on the last Sunday of January to increase public awareness of the Leprosy. This year we are celebrating this day on 31 January 2021 with the theme Restraining corona pandemic, timely action in managing leprosy.
INF has also initiated its leprosy fundraising campaign and to learn more about the campaign, please visit www.inf.org/careforcure.