Leprosy patients’ mental sufferings trigger during COVID-19 pandemic

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Moulvibazar Correspondent:

Leprosy service providers in Moulvibazar district on Saturday (5 June 2021) stated that the mental sufferings of persons affected by leprosy increased alarmingly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which require a special mental care for the marginalized & stigmatized community.

They disclosed these observations during a workshop titled ‘Mental Health & Counselling for service providers to the persons affected by leprosy’ arranged by Heed Bangladesh at its Kamalganj Upazila office auditorium. The event was supported by The Leprosy Mission International-Bangladesh (TLMI-B) and Leprosy Mission Netherlands, Leprazending.

A total of 30 participants identified the various mental sufferings of persons affected by leprosy that triggered their tensions over life and livelihoods.

The training was conducted by Jiptha Boiragee, programme support coordinator, TLMI-B and Roton Malo, project officer, TLMI-B.

Heed Bangladesh’s leprosy service-related staff Paresh Debnath, Smita Das, Rita, community resource persons, young volunteers, local church-based volunteers among others were present.

The primary lessons about mental health and basic counselling were taught in the training programme while the participants in five groups demonstrated five counselling role plays during the training.

Participants said the social ignorance and discrimination, economic burdens, amplified during COVID-19 pandemic which triggered their anxiety, depression and mental illness.

They urged the concerned authority to take necessary steps to help the persons affected by leprosy in this adverse situation.