From Social Curse to Social Cure: Evaluation of Destigmatising of Leprosy programme in rural Nepal.
This is a one year collaborative research project between Professor Orla Muldoon (UL), Dr Sarah Jay (UL), Psychology department and Mike Winterburn (LIT). The aim of the research is to gauge the success of community based projects developed and implemented by Nepal Leprosy Trust to eliminate the stigma of Leprosy in four rural areas of Nepal….
See full article on page 5 of the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) research newsletter, Spring Summer 2017 here
An outreach adventure where no doctor has trod before….
WAY UP in the mountains of Sindhuli District our medical team visited Kalika School and its Tamang community, where we’d promised to do an awfully-needed health check-up on the children.
Our team included 2 doctors, a nurse, our Support Services Manager and courageous driver. As well as the children, we wanted to check on progress with the water supply pipe and the building work we are supporting for a new school to replace the present earthquake-damaged building.
The arduous 4-5 hour trip from Lalgadh Hospital climbs hair-raising roads and tracks. Then there’s a 1½ hour steep up-and-down walk. No wonder no doctor nor “whitey” has ever been there before. But we have built a wonderfully warm relationship with this Tamang community, not least because some of the team members – Dr Krishna Lama, Meena and Suman – are Tamang too.
We found and treated lots of skin infections, especially impetigo and scabies; malnutrition, and throat, ear and eye infections. Almost none of the children has been vaccinated; that must wait for another visit.
We also caught up with 9 year-old Sarita with burns and damaged limbs whom we met last year. With the support of Gudri – our Footwear Dept Manager and his team Sarita can now run and walk, and climb…. and even dance – Tamang dances.
When our steering failed on the return trip, a wonderful Mangar family invited us to their home for rice & dhal. They begged us to help their community’s schoolchildren as well as the Tamang children higher up. We also found 3 unregistered leprosy patients.
Back home to Lalgadh hospital at 1am. What an adventure!
With thanks to Dr Graeme Clugston for this extract and the photos.
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In April 2014 an Irish family generously donated funds for materials to rebuild a permanent 2 room school in Lal Busti village in rural south eastern Nepal. They also paid for new uniforms and school books.
The original school building was made from mud and bamboo and required rebuilding each year after the monsoon (see photo on right). The top image was taken in April 2015 in a new brick building and with new uniforms and books. The villagers built the school themselves under the guidance of the village development committee. And what a transformation: don’t the photos say it all?
The Nepalese people are a very resilient race and are getting back to their feet after the earthquakes and the many many aftershocks. Thank you so much for all the donations that are going directly to those most in need in the rural area of Sindhuli District.
Watch this brief video of this truly stunning country:
Images below of Kapilakot Village. Delivery of emergency aid on 17th May 2015. Images: Dr. Graeme Clugston of Nepal Leprosy Trust.
Last week we were invited to Scoil Mochua, Celbridge to receive a cheque on behalf of Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT) Ireland. This donation was sponsorship money collected by the primary school children as part of the Readathon 2015.
A great surprise on the day was the class adaptions of their favourite books eg., Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Harry Potter, Winnie the Witch to mention a few.
The Readathon Assembly on the day was compèred by two wonderful children, Rebecca and Dennis.
Dr Anne Dee will be returning to Lalgadh, Nepal in March after a break of twenty years. She has obtained funding under the ESTHER* alliance which is a European organisation which encourages partnership between developed and developing world healthcare facilities.
Under this scheme, the Department of Public Health in Limerick has been funded to set up a partnership with LLSC (NLT’s leprosy centre in south-eastern Nepal) . She will travel with the Director of Public Health in Limerick, Dr Mai Mannix, and will spend time in LLSC meeting the workers there, viewing the projects and agreeing the scope of this proposed partnership.
Dr Krishna Lama and Dambar Aley from LLSC will make a return visit to Ireland in May in order to finalise the partnership agreement.
Dr Anne Dee, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, Department of Public Health in Limerick.
Drinking clean water, washing your hands, seeking treatment for infections: such things may be second nature in Ireland. But for many villagers in rural Nepal, a lack of education hinders their knowledge and ability to live healthy and ward off preventable diseases.
Thanks to a 3-year grant from Irish Aid and effect:hope The Leprosy Mission Canada, Nepal Leprosy Trust Ireland is now supporting some of the very poorest in Nepal to live more productive lives in a project called Village Alive Programme or VAP.
NLT has organised groups in two Dalit villages (a group of people traditionally regarded as untouchable) to effect and promote health improvements. After training and support from NLT staff, a volunteer in each village qualifies as a Rural Health Facilitator, who helps the groups to identify major health problems and tackle them through health education: the use of clean water, and improved sanitation.
The project also includes a micro-finance element, which encourages men and women to develop their own small businesses.
Measurements will be taken to gauge the success of the project, and it is hoped that the long term incidence of Leprosy will reduce as a result of improvements in the standard of living.