We use our hands to meet our needs—opening doors, preparing food, washing and drying our bodies. We also use our hands to care for others. Many people living with leprosy, a debilitating skin condition, face the devastating loss of the use of their hands.
This was the case for Annakala, a 70-year-old woman from a remote area in Nepal who received medical care at the PWS&D-supported Shining Hospital.
After her 68th birthday, Annakala noticed a burning sensation in her left leg. At the recommendation of her peers, she sought out treatment from a traditional healer. Temporarily, Annakala’s pain went away.
Then, other things started to go wrong in her body. Her vision began fading, and tingling sensations spread all the way down to her toes. Worst of all, Annakala lost the ability to use her right hand as she used to. The traditional healers were unable to address her problems effectively.
A family member began to research what might be happening. Consulting with a local health worker, she learned that Annakala likely had leprosy. Unfortunately, Annakala was sent away from her family due to the stigma associated with the condition.
Shining Hospital Provides Hope
Annakala’s situation started to change when she visited the Shining Hospital. This health centre, run with PWS&D’s support, serves those affected by skin conditions in Nepal through in-patient services and community outreach. Since COVID-19 began taking a toll on the health and livelihoods of people in Nepal, the organization has also provided food support and hygiene kits for those in need.
At Shining Hospital, Annakala was diagnosed with leprosy and admitted for treatment to address its severe impact on her hands and legs. Now close to the end of the twelve-month treatment program, she has been released to go back to her daily life. Annakala is grateful that she was able to receive loving support through Shining Hospital.
The work of Shining Hospital remains essential as people continue to deal with daily health problems, in addition to COVID-19. Make a gift today to support programs that are raising awareness of leprosy and helping people affected by the condition.