Mobile Health Clinic Cures both the Patient and the Village’s Stigma
Jayamma, a 63-year-old lady, hails from a small village Gundlahalli. Like many villages in rural India, she has lived in one such village with superstitious beliefs. She was diagnosed with Hansen’s disease (also known as leprosy) at the age of 30. She lost the sensation in her limbs at the first stage of leprosy. There is a social stigma attached to this disease in many villages; Gundlahalli was no different. Due to this, she was secluded from the society and no one was willing to marry her.
One fine day, when the Mobile Health team visited the village, she approached them and cried out for help. The doctor checked her and the team immediately took her to Doddaballapura Government hospital. After diagnosis, she was referred to the Leprosarium at Magadi Road for further treatment. At that centre, she underwent reconstructive surgery and wax therapy. All her wounds were cleaned and dressed with antibiotics. She was also advised to take physiotherapy in order for her fingers to be restored to full health. Now, her body is responding well to the treatment.
The impact of this small intervention is huge. People came to realize that this is not a communicable disease and is just a stage of the body. If proper treatment is given, the person concerned can be cured. Today, the people of Gundlahalli have accepted her.