Medical and social aid for leprosy patients in Jharkhand
Leprosy is an infectious disease and neglected tropical disease that affects the skin and peripheral nerves, leading to progressive physical disability and deformities if not diagnosed and treated early. Fear of stigma and discrimination is a major barrier to seeking health care and to case finding. Disability Prevention and Medical Rehabilitation (DPMR) and social rehabilitation of persons affected by leprosy have an important health and societal impact. The effective implementation of these measures represent a challenge in India given a weak patient referral system. This project aims to provide seamless DPMR and social rehabilitation services in 12 districts of Jharkhand state. Patients will benefit from shorter health-care delays, improved DPMR and social rehabilitation and ultimately better health and wellbeing. This has positive impact on the socio-economic situation of their family. The project will benefit health professionals with training, and support patient referral structures. It will also improve leprosy awareness through sharing of resources, good practices and lessons learned within India and internationally through ILEP.