Moti lives with his three sons; the eldest is married with a six month old son. Their home consists of two small rooms that face each other. An open sewer runs through the street in front of the entrance door. The first room has few possessions and is the sitting room during the sweltering hot days.
When I meet him, the electricity is out so the fan doesn’t work, but the concrete floor and turquoise painted walls keep the room cool. A small open wooden door lets in some light. By night, they use an old fashioned oil lamp placed on the window ledge. A few aluminium plates and bowls are stacked on one of the three shelves built into the cement wall. Across one wall of this 13 foot squared room a thin rope is nailed -- a clothes line for hanging a few folded, worn-out pieces. A small mirror in a plastic frame is hung with a comb balancing across the top edge.
Moti’s son, daughter-in-law, and their baby son sleep in this humble, multifunctional room. In the room opposite, a closed curtain across the entrance keeps the flies and hot sun out. A light breeze flapping the curtain reveals a small room partitioned through the middle by a concrete wall. This room serves as the kitchen, bathroom, laundry and bedroom for Moti and his two other sons.
As I sit with him, Moti’s eldest son and wife are hard at work washing clothes for a nearby laundry. His daughter-in-law hangs clothes to dry while juggling the baby in her arms. She places the baby on a cloth on the floor at Moti’s feet to mind while she continues with her chores.
– Beatriz Lopez for LEPRA
After a cocktail of drugs and 22 years of suffering, a neighbour told Moti that he had heard a broadcast from LEPRA’s health education van. He could seek free treatment at LEPRA’s disability camp. When he felt that disability would prevent him attending, LEPRA organised free transport. “After meeting with LEPRA, I got hope.” Moti says.
Moti received ointments and dressings to heal the wounds between the folds of his leg; a problem that had persisted for ten years. He was taught how to wash and dry the leg correctly to reduce skin infections, and shown simple massage techniques. He was given a diagnosis. Self-care and hygiene techniques have already helped decrease the swelling and Moti is delighted.
The physiotherapy treatments and counselling provided at Moti’s home by the LEPRA health worker are beginning to offer Moti a new lease on life. Moti says that awareness was too late for him, but that he urges people to trust and believe in the work LEPRA is doing. “LEPRA has changed my life”.
Although he will live with this condition for the rest of his life, with proper care, Moti can reduce his discomfort and prevent sores from developing. Correct treatment has stopped the fevers and acute pain that he regularly experienced, which in turn has improved his state of mind.
LEPRA is reducing the swelling and discomfort that Moti experiences. Can you help Moti and others with LF further?
“We feel LEPRA staff are our family members.” In cases like Hari’s specialist expertise is essential.
Treated for leprosy reaction