Guest Post From Lepra Health in Action – One of the Queen’s Charities.

LEPRA Health in Action has been fighting diseases of poverty for almost 90 years.

 I’ve just returned from seeing our work in Bihar, a state of north-eastern India.

Bihar has a population of over 100 million people (one and a half times that of the UK). The BBC recently stated ‘If Bihar were a country, its per capita income would be the third lowest in the world. Only Somalia and Niger in Africa would be below it.

For eight out of 10 people, this means a life of unsanitary living conditions and increased risks to health, particularly for children. There is little or no education or access to toilet facilities. At home, floors are made of dung or mud, and people have very few possessions. Power cuts last for up to eight hours a day, every day.

Bihar has come a long way in the last few years, with a now stable government investing in services and infrastructure, but it is starting from a very low base with a very rural and difficult to access population and low literacy levels. To travel 100 kilometres (62 miles) routinely takes between three and five hours, and that is on the better roads as I found out!  No wonder then that Bihar has the highest incidence of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in India including leprosy and lymphatic filariasis, and 80 per cent of India’s kala-azar cases (known as the ‘silent killer’).

This is where LEPRA makes a significant difference. We provide health education to communities, offering training for health volunteers, and provide specialist and life-saving health services. We work with local government, bridging gaps in local health care and training their staff so that states like Bihar can become self-sufficient in providing health services and rely less on our support.In one Bihari village, in a kala-azar endemic area of Bihar, village elder Bindeshwari  Paswan told me: ‘When LEPRA came here you saved six lives, and over the last two years no-one has died’. LEPRA’s programmes mean that for some people in Bihar help is closer than 62 miles away. With your help we can make this true for more.Life in Bihar is hard. You can make it easier.

Thank you, Sarah Nancollas, LEPRA Health in Action

You can connect with Lepra Health in Action via …


Patron: Her Majesty The Queen

President: Sir Chris Bonington

Don’t forget you can support charities like Lepra Health in Action every time you shop online at no extra cost to you.


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