Reducing the stigma of leprosy


Salum, our shoemaker told us some heartening news recently:

“Sometimes something happens to make you realise how important our work is and how well we are known in the region for effectively treating people with leprosy.

Let me tell you about a new leprosy patient.

Kindwitwi is so remote you won’t find it on google maps! The nearest town, Utete, is three miles away. Kindwitwi is a three to four hour drive and approximately five hour bus journey from Dar es Salaam, depending on road conditions. The last hour or so of the journey is on dirt tracks.

Omari lives in Maji Matitu which is close to Dar es Salaam (almost 100 miles away!).

He knew of our leprosy clinic and when he suspected that he had leprosy, he came to visit us.

We are always pleased when someone does this because it means that they believe they can be cured, they are not afraid of the stigma and they trust us. Omari noticed skin patches on his face and some nodules on his ears also had some places on the soles of his feet with no feeling.

The signs mean he is classified into the MB type of leprosy, and he will need to take medication for the next 12 months.”