Break the Chains of Leprosy in Angola

Happy New Year.

At the turn of the year many people like to look ahead to what the year might bring, to make plans and have ideas.

In Angola, Carmen had plans for her future, for what she wanted to do when she left school, but when leprosy struck they were all taken away in a heartbeat. She felt as if leprosy was a heavy chain that had tied her down and would now be all that her life contained.

Her face became covered with patches and swollen nodules. Before long she had stopped going to school and her mother had forbidden her from leaving the house – horrified and ashamed of what their neighbours and relatives would say about her daughter’s face.

The patches were spreading over her body.

Her younger brothers gave her the nickname “Fish Face” and teased her mercilessly.

You can give new hope for a better future to people like Carmen in Angola, and across Africa. You can break the chains of leprosy this year.

In desperation, Carmen’s mother took her to a traditional doctor. His diagnosis was devastating:

“You have been bewitched! Someone has done this to stop you from getting married.”

They took treatment after treatment to try to fix her but instead of getting better, Carmen was only getting worse.

She thought to herself “I’ll never get rid of this. I’ll spend all of my life in the house. I’ll never work or get married. It’s a nightmare!”

For three years she stayed at home, never going out, like a forgotten Cinderella. Her only company was the radio.

One day she heard a programme that changed her life. The speaker was talking about a disease called leprosy, which has symptoms that commonly include patches and nodules on the body. It was like he was describing her exactly. “I’m not bewitched. I’m sick with a terrible disease”.

And then came the good news as the speaker explained that this disease of leprosy can be cured and where this treatment was available.

You can share this good news across the whole country. Your gift today can spread this good news by radio, or in person, to communities everywhere. Hundreds of people, just like Carmen, still need to hear it.

She excitedly explained all that she had heard to her Mum and convinced her to let her leave the house to travel to the clinic where she could see the team from SOLE Angola.

Your gift could ensure that the right treatment is available in more clinics in more places.

It was a day of huge relief when she finally understood what was wrong with her and was given the medication that in 6 months would completely cure her of leprosy.

Within just a couple of months, Carmen began to get her normal life back. She can go out to see friends and family and, most importantly, she has gone back to school.

Please give today to break the chains of leprosy for Carmen, and people like her, across Angola.

You can make this new year bring new life to people shackled by the effects of leprosy.

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2nd Feb 2018

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Opinions are the authors own and not necessarily those of The Leprosy Mission Scotland.