Demographic and Psychological life of Leprosy affected people in Bangladesh
Introduction: Culturally determined beliefs and misconceptions regarding leprosy exist in almost all communities. The consequent impacts of society towards leprosy are reflected by the level of perceived stigma. The psychosocial impact has to bear in a society after the diagnosis weighs heavier than the physical affliction.
Objectives: The research will help to understand the psychosocial condition of leprosy affected people in north-west and south-west part of Bangladesh.
Methods: The lives of the leprosy affected people with region, gender and residence based differences were observed by cross-sectional study conducted from July-December, 2015. A total of 92 leprosy affected people were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaire.
Results: The respondents were more from urban compare to rural, more male compare to female. Patches on skin was observed as the first sign and were identified first by NGO worker and nearly two-fifth of the affected respondents had disfigurement/deformity. Most of the affected people thought leprosy reduces self-respect in society, feel ashamed or embarrassed, keep or stay away from work or social groups. They also think people used to refuse to visit their home, create problem of own/ family member’s marriage and some people were compelled to change their job.
Conclusion: The affected people along with the family members do not have satisfactory information of the disease and therefore provide essential knowledge and services will help to improve the situation.