‘The harder you look the more you find’: Nepal’s hidden leprosy | Rebecca Ratcliffe
Almost two decades ago the World Health Organization declared leprosy eliminated, but millions of cases go undiagnosed
One summer’s morning Paniya Sardar noticed a strange mark on her leg. It was the size of her palm, light in colour and felt numb to touch. She had no idea what had caused it.
The family took Paniya, then 14, to a private clinic near their home on the outskirts of Biratnagar, a city in southern Nepal, where they were sold lotions and pills and told not to worry. Three months later, a deep wound appeared on her foot. “This particular blister was pretty big and wouldn’t heal,” her father, Sita Sardar, says through an interpreter. Six months later, it was still there.