Manmaya Ghale and her three children live in a town called Pathari of the Morang District in Nepal where she works as a day labourer. She was diagnosed with leprosy seven months before this image was taken, after discovering a patch on her knee.
“I went to a local clinic, and they referred me to a general hospital in Biratnagar, but I thought it would be too expensive and the patch would be okay. But then after that I developed an ulcer on my ankle.”
Manmaya eventually went on to a local hospital where she received free treatment, and the wounds on her knee and ankle have cleared, although she is unlikely to ever recover sensation fully.
Only by interrupting disease transmission through earlier diagnosis and treatment will we achieve zero new cases of leprosy. The Novartis Foundation’s leprosy post-exposure-prophylaxis (LPEP) program provides preventative treatment to close contacts of newly diagnosed patients – such as family members or friends – to decrease the risk of transmission.
The program is currently running in Indonesia, India, Tanzania, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Brazil with several partners, including with Netherlands Leprosy Relief in Nepal.
Shortly after her diagnosis, around 24 of Manmaya’s close contacts were screened for leprosy via the LPEP initiative. Read more about the program here (PDF 1.04 MB).