Thursday, June 1, 2023

NLR India hosted a dissemination meeting on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 to release a study with relevance to persons with disabilities due to leprosy and lymphatic filariasis (LF) in the districts of Jaunpur and Bokaro in India. The study was funded by COR-NTD. The meeting was attended by contributing members of society working towards elimination of leprosy and LF from India and outside. Government officials, WHO officials, Philanthropists, Health Industry officials, Stakeholders, NLR International Team and India team were present at the event marking the importance of the study in a mission to address mental wellbeing of persons with disabilities due to leprosy and LF.

Leprosy and lymphatic filariasis (LF) are two NTDs that have detrimental health as well as social impact on the affected person if not treated on time. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of twenty mostly communicable, chronic, disabling, and disfiguring conditions.

The study consisted of a formative assessment and an intervention study conducted in Bokaro (Jharkhand) and Jaunpur (Uttar Pradesh) districts between January 01, 2020 and March 15, 2022. The assessment sought answer to the level of effect of stigma on social participation and mental wellbeing among men and women affected by leprosy and LF.

Commenting on dissemination of the study findings, Dr. Ashok Agarwal, Country Director, NLR India and Study Co-PI said “NLR India commissioned this study to develop an evidence-base for improving mental wellbeing and reducing stigma among those with LF and leprosy related disabilities”. Sharing his thoughts, Dr. Agarwal further commented “We are delighted to see encouraging results of the intervention of reducing stigma and improving mental wellbeing among persons with disabilities due to leprosy and LF through basic psychological support provided by peer supporters”.