In a country where the prevalence of leprosy is two and a half times higher than the global average, the Shining Hospital is helping people overcome illness and get back to their normal lives. This year the hospital has given over 15,000 people hope for a healthier future.
Ram lived with his wife and three children in Surkhet, Nepal. One day, as he dropped his daughter off for school, his vibrant family life was interrupted: Ram’s brother-in-law recognized the skin irritations, pain and fever Ram was experiencing as symptoms of something serious.
Fifty kilometers away, in Jajarkot, Nepal, Rabin had dreams of joining the Nepal Army. To his surprise, his application was rejected because of mysterious dry patches on his body. Something was going on with Rabin’s skin that prevented him from pursuing his dream.
Caring Through the Airwaves
In Nepal, many people with leprosy go their whole lives without seeking treatment. They may not know the nature of their skin problems, or they may be scared to lose the loving touch of their family or the employment and income they desperately need.
Beyond offering diagnostic and treatment services, the Shining Hospital is using radio and newspaper campaigns to help raise awareness and reduce the stigma against leprosy. From 2018 to 2019, messages bringing hope to people living with skin conditions were broadcast 720 times—reaching almost half a million people.
For Ram and Rabin, hearing about the Shining Hospital was the first step in regaining control of their lives. After being diagnosed with leprosy by knowledgeable hospital staff, Ram was admitted in order to receive the most effective care for his severe case, while Rabin was given a referral for medication close to home. When complications from leprosy began to affect him, Rabin had the opportunity to return for further treatment. The effects of leprosy are slowly receding for both Ram and Rabin, and they are excited for the chance to reintegrate into their communities.
A Chance to Dream
Everybody deserves a chance to dream. Through their community awareness initiatives, the Shining Hospital is inviting more and more people to manage their illness so they can go back to pursuing that dream we all have in common: abundant life.