Felshiya is a single parent from northern Sri Lanka.

Felshiya is affected by leprosy and was treated with multi-drug therapy.She explained, “the first time the doctor told me I had leprosy, fear came over me, followed by the worry of what will happen now? I felt as though he was giving me a death sentence.”

“The doctor did not realise how his diagnosis of leprosy would affect me. Although he saw my physical pain and treated the external symptoms of the disease, he could not see what was going on inside my head. I was terrified about my family, my child and what my husband would think. When my husband heard the news, he left me and I was alone with my child. I felt very stressed and lonely and I wanted to die.” 

“Fortunately, I was supported by counsellors who talked to me every day and made me feel strong again. They built up my courage and self-esteem through group discussions and by individual counselling sessions. A big part of the counselling was discovering the truth about leprosy; that it is not infectious and that it can be cured.” Thanks to their support, I feel empowered to build a new life of my own. 

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