As we are recovering from the pandemic, people affected by leprosy need our support to restart their lives being one of the most vulnerable groups in the country.
Amongst many children who are diagnosed with leprosy, the case of 13-year-old Sonu is sadly a common one. Sonu was diagnosed with leprosy after her fingers had already deformed due to the disease. As happens with many cases of leprosy in India, Sonu’s disease was only recognised after years of misdiagnosis resulting in the clawing of the fingers of her both hands.
Sometime in the winter of 2015, Sonu developed a wound on the index finger of her left hand which was not healing. Her father, a resident of Purnia district in Bihar and a daily wage labourer, was worried and took her to the village doctor. The village doctor did not recognise leprosy as the cause and proceeded to perform an ineffective surgery of removing Sonu’s index fingers bone just below the nail.
Naturally, the surgery did not result in any improvement and Sonu woke up with her fingers bent and an inability to open her palms. Her hands had started clawing, a repercussion of untreated leprosy. Sonu’s father took her back to the village doctor who refused accountability and directed her to the nearest PHC for treatment.
In January 2022, Sonu came in contact of a social worker who referred her to The Leprosy Mission Trust India hospital in Muzaffarpur, Bihar; where Sonu was recommended for Reconstructive Surgery to correct her clawed hands and restore functionality.
Sonu is under-going physiotherapy for the impending Reconstructive Surgery at The Leprosy Mission Trust India’s hospital in Muzaffarpur.
We, at The Leprosy Mission Trust India, provide free of cost tertiary care to people affected by leprosy through the generous support provided by conscientious donors like you. We exhort you to once again step in and help us to fund the two surgeries that Sonu requires to correct her deformities and ensure that she can lead a normal life of dignity and independence.
Sonu’s father, who is the sole provider for his family, is saddened after hearing of her diagnosis and is unable to think of a bright future for his daughter.
We implore you to come to the help of this family and their child who is hoping for the best despite undergoing the worst. After the surgery, Sonu hopes to get back to her school which she was forced to drop out of due to leprosy.
We hope you will take up this fight on Sonu’s behalf. We need your help to correct the deformity through reconstructive surgeries and to help her withstand the discrimination she is sure to experience.