Help a hospital under strain provide essential medical care for people with leprosy

Life in rural India can be incredibly hard. Across the country nearly a quarter of people live below the poverty line. Parents struggle to provide for their families and pay for their children's education. Housing and sanitation are basic and many people don't have enough food.

Things only get harder when a person has leprosy. Those living in rural areas often live far from a clinic or hospital - and government hospitals charge fees that the poorest people cannot afford. 

Purulia Hospital in West Bengal provides specialist leprosy care at no cost. It's a place where miracles happen and has an excellent reputation: the Outpatients' Department (OPD) at the hospital often has up to 300 people a day queuing to see the doctors there.

But the OPD is woefully under-resourced. Patients queue for hours in the heat outside because the waiting room is too small; the doctors work in cramped conditions where there is little privacy; the toilets and washing facilities are limited.

If Purulia is to carry on being such a beacon of hope, something has to change. That's why we're asking you to partner with us in building a new OPD at the hospital.

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Watch the video to learn more about Purulia Hospital and what Helen found when she visited in late 2016.

Faith is the only thing that keeps us going. There is frustration and stress every day but we see God's hand in resolving problems.

Hold a World Leprosy Sunday and secure Purulia's future

Up until 30 April 2017, we're inviting your church or group to hold a World Leprosy Sunday event and help provide essential new facilities for Purulia Hospital.

A new Outpatients' Department would transform the experience for people affected by leprosy. It would provide a spacious waiting area for patients and their families to rest, many of them after hours or even days of travel. Currently there are only two toilets and no running water, so new toilets and washrooms would improve hygiene and comfort. Brand new treatment rooms would mean more privacy for patients and improved facilities for staff.

You could hold a special collection during your service, make the hospital the recipient of your Lent appeal or host a fundraising event. There are more ideas to be found in our World Leprosy Day resources - which you can order online, or by telephoning 01733 370505.

Your local Regional Manager and volunteer speakers are available for bookings to come and speak at your event - look up their details and get in touch to find out more.