Kushi, a 13 year-old girl child who has come to our hospital in Naini (Prayagraj), to seek treatment for her clawed hands. She is a student of Class 5th and lives in Prayagraj district of Uttar Pradesh with her parents and siblings. Her father does the wall painting service and is the sole bread earner. He does not have the regular work. It becomes tough for him to fulfil the basic needs of his family. Kushi’s health problem put the poor parents in difficult situations.

Kushi’s fingers were clawing inwards. Earlier the family ignored it but when the claw became evident, and the child complained of weakness they consulted the doctor in their neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the doctor misdiagnosed her. Last year, the Leprosy Mission Trust India conducted a medical camp where she was correctly diagnosed with leprosy and her treatment started.

To correct the clawing deformity in Kushi’s hand, she has to undergo a special surgery- Reconstructive Surgery. This is a procedure where a normal tendon is transferred, to do the work of the paralysed tendon.

“Kushi is undergoing the intensive physiotherapy, to make her fingers and joints supple, which often requires daily plaster applications and special splints,” said Dr. Sandeep of the Leprosy Mission Hospital in Naini where Kushi is admitted.

She will be taught the isolation exercises of the donor tendon and finally will be operated, when the therapists say she is ready. A couple of days after surgery she will go home with a plaster cast and return after three weeks to be re-admitted for post-op therapy. These three to four weeks of post-operative physiotherapy are essential to get her hand to be functional.

It is through donations like your’s that The Leprosy Mission will be able to provide the surgery, medicines, stay and food in the hospital for Kushi, completely free.

As you are aware, we are a not-for-profit hospital that depends largely on charity to provide essential treatments to our patients. Most of our patients, like Kushi, come from extremely marginalised circumstances and cannot afford treatment in private hospitals. It is also true that Leprosy treatments are not provided in most of the hospitals in India and The Leprosy Mission hospitals are almost unique in the comprehensive hospital healthcare provided to people affected by leprosy.

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