Leprosy is curable. Fortunately. And people are often cured without disabilities. But that is not the end of the story. Many people have problems for the rest of their lives. A range of different problems that go far beyond disabilities. There is hardly a person who does not admit that their life has changed drastically and forever with the diagnosis of leprosy. Even the most experienced PerMaTa activists are still plagued by self-stigmatisation and fears. Governments, donor and support organisations must address the situation of people after treatment and not stop caring at RFT (release from treatment). They must stop blaming the people affected (“it’s mainly them, they stigmatise themselves”). The organisations of people affected must be supported, as they can provide much of the care, motivation and concrete help that is needed but rarely offered by governments.
Our young team affected by leprosy talks about the problems they face years after their cure.