20 August, 2020
Leprosy is a neglected tropical disease of public health concern due to its impact on the well-being and socio-economic status of the affected people. The Persons Affected by Leprosy face huge social stigmatization and discrimination in their original communities and are often forced to stay in settlements at the outskirts of the town. They often lack basic amenities like power supply, portable water, convenient shelter, access to health care, and good sanitary system. Globally, 2.3 billion people do not have access to modern sanitary facilities (1) and nearly 892 million of the total world’s population still practice open defecation (2). Infected human excreta contains several harmful microorganisms that increase the risk of communicable diseases such as cholera; salmonellosis; diarrhoea diseases and poliomyelitis.
Given their socio-economic status, the residents of Ago Ireti Leprosy settlement are particularly vulnerable to the health-related consequences of unsanitary sewage disposal. This can further worsen the health condition of the Persons Affected by Leprosy, thereby creating double jeopardy with respect to their health status. Consequent upon this, Damien Foundation through the help of HIDROPLUS, and other well-meaning donors in Belgium rose to the challenge by improving the living condition of over 300 Persons Affected by Leprosy (of whom 100 are with severe disabilities) due to leprosy by constructing a sanitary block consisting of 6 toilets & bathrooms with running and clean water.