Your Gifts at Work: July-September 2022

October 19, 2022

Celebrating Anandaban Hospital’s New ICU

Our partners at Anandaban Hospital celebrated an inauguration ceremony for their new Trauma Center in September. Several ALM staff attended, including our Asia regional director, Dr. Sunil Anand, who spoke during the opening ceremony. The guest of honor was Nepal’s Minister of Health and Population.

Anandaban is the only hospital in its region. When the hospital lost its ICU to Nepal’s 2015 earthquake, thousands of people lost critical care. With your support and two multi-year grants from the USAID Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA), construction on the Trauma Center is finished and the equipment for the building is on its way. The new Center houses the ICU, two surgery theaters, and a ward for new mothers and young children. Thank you for ensuring that Anandaban’s neighbors have restored access to important services!

Leprosy Vaccine

Now Anandaban will be able to keep intensive care patients and perform surgeries in an earthquake-safe facility. Thank you for supporting our partners in Nepal!

Women-led WASH Projects: 2021-22 Impact

The Jagruti (Sanscrit for “awakening”) projects in India and Nepal train women to change their communities through clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and by educating people about neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) like leprosy and lymphatic filariasis (LF)

This past year in Bihar, India, the 90 women trained as community resource people (CRPs) collected important health and household information on over 380,000 people in 130 villages. The Jagruti Nepal project also finished its surveys for more than 76,500 people across two provinces! Information-gathering is an important step for these integrated WASH and NTDs projects: now the CRPs and local health care providers understand how many people in these districts are affected by leprosy or LF, and how many households have toilets or running water.

There are people affected by leprosy or LF in each of the project’s 130 villages in Bihar, India. After identifying 4,709 people, the CRPs educated them and their caregivers on self-care practices and how to manage disabilities at home. Thanks to the Jagruti project, 253 people affected by neglected diseases also received their COVID-19 vaccination. These are all huge steps toward community health in Bihar!

The 31 Nepali CRPs are also providing self-care education to 179 people affected by leprosy and LF in their project’s two provinces. The CRPs have also been working with local schools, initiating 34 programs about good WASH habits and disease protection. These programs are reaching over 10,000 students and teachers.

Thank you for supporting ALM as we create lasting impact with these communities in India and Nepal!

Kimpese Water Tank

The Nepali CRPs visit homes in two provinces to educate people on neglected tropical diseases like leprosy, water safety, and hygiene and sanitation habits. 

Protecting Feet, Preserving Active Lives

Nerve damage from leprosy leads to irreversible loss of sensation. People lose the ability to feel pressure or pain and can develop ulcers and other injuries as a result. 

That’s why our partners at the Schieffelin Institute in India are creating sensors that tell the wearer when there are dangerous amounts of pressure on their feet. Placed inside Schieffelin’s special footwear, these sensors are protecting people’s feet and their ability to walk. Thirty people affected by leprosy wore the prototype sensor for a year, and none of them developed ulcers! 

After two years of work, Dr. Satish Kumar Paul is now working on a sensor model with a smaller feedback system that is easier to wear.  

Kimpese Water Tank

Combined with protective footwear, these sensors will make it possible for people affected by leprosy to live whole lives, free of additional injuries. Thank you for supporting our partner, the Schieffelin Institute!

2022 NTD Innovation Prize

On September 15, ALM announced the winner of our fourth NTD Innovation Prize at the NNN Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Innovation Prize funds new approaches and tools with the potential to make a difference for people affected by NTDs like leprosy. 

The winner of this year’s $40,000 Prize is Jiptha Boiragee from The Leprosy Mission – Bangladesh. During the pandemic, TLM Bangladesh began utilizing digital video-calls so that hospital staff could communicate with people suffering from leprosy complications, even during lockdowns. Now, TLM Bangladesh can expand this project to continue helping people access important care regardless of their location.  

Kimpese Water Tank

Jiptha Boigaree from TLM Bangladesh accepted the 2022 NTD Innovation Prize in September. We’re excited to see how their project grows!

Training Faith Leaders and Communities in DRC 

Our Faith Leaders project with partner IME Kimpese Hospital in DR Congo is continuing to train church leaders and connect people affected by neglected diseases with the care they need.

This past quarter, over 2,000 people learned about NTDs so they can recognize them in their communities and churches. Additionally, head nurses from eight new districts participated in training on self-care. Self-care includes steps like washing, limb elevation, and other practices for people affected by leprosy and LF to care for themselves at home. Now that these nurses have been trained, they can teach other staff and patients!

As this project continues for another year, we hope to engage 75 churches, training almost 200 church leaders and 80 health workers to recognize NTDs and support people affected in their communities.

Biomeme qPCR device at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital

The Faith Leaders project also reaches people by radio. Thank you for partnering with us to make sure people have the information and care they need!