The disease leprosy affects peripheral nerves. Damage to peripheral nerves leads to deformities & disabilities. Our emphasis is on prevention of disabilities by detection & treatment of leprosy at early stage. Nerve damage is reversible if treated early.
In those cases, where permanent nerve damage is left even after treatment, they are at risk of progressive disabilities and these secondary disabilities are to be prevented. Planter ulcers, burns, contracture of fingers, loss of vision are main secondary disabilities which limit the functions and restrict participation of a person in society.
There are 3 major interventions through which we encourage independent living for affected people.
- One is self-care for Persons with Disability due to Leprosy, L. F. & Diabetes which helps in healing of the wounds & ulcers, prevention of new injuries and improving self- morale.
Self-care projects are mainly to prevent worsening of disabilities and check the secondary impairments. Persons with disabilities are trained in self-care practices and are supported to adopt it and manage their disabilities
- Second is facilitating the persons affected in accessing the basic general health services through organizing Health Camps at their doorsteps.
- Other one is providing assistive & protective devices to prevent damage to anaesthetic body parts and overcome disability. It facilitates social participation & overcomes restriction of the activities due to disability challenges.
It includes enablement of persons affected to make them less dependent on others, equipping them with tools like self- care and self-advocacy so that they can take care of their anaesthetic hands & feet through self-care and be self-reliant.