Leprosy Mission

Helping People to Help Themselves

The Leprosy Mission logo

Chanchaga Orthopaedic Centre, Nigeria

Thank you, Caterham Overseas Aid Trust, for helping people affected by leprosy to regain their mobility and independence

Project overview

Chanchaga Orthopaedic Centre is the only place in Nigeria which specialises in producing mobility aids for people who are disabled by leprosy. More than 2,000 people are diagnosed with leprosy each year in Nigeria and sadly, one in five will become disabled. They need help to restore mobility so they can work and lead as normal a life as possible.
High costs, widespread discrimination and a lack of orthopaedic facilities mean that without this Centre, most people affected by leprosy would never receive assistive devices or prosthetics.
Every year, the Centre provides free orthopaedic and mobility aids – including prosthetic limbs, orthoses, protective shoes, crutches and wheelchairs – to around 1,000 patients. People affected by leprosy who travelled long distances to the Centre were able to stay free of charge at the Centre’s guesthouse.

Orthopaedic prosthetics

What your grant helped to achieve

Because of the generosity and compassion of supporters like yourself, in the first six months of the year, 801 people affected by leprosy and/or disabilities received treatment. Of these:

Patient receives artificial limb
  • 10 people were fitted with an artificial limb
  • 7 people were given braces or splints (orthoses)
  • 214 people had crutches
  • 5 people received wheelchairs
  • 111 people were issued with a walking stick
  • 392 people affected by leprosy received protective sandals. These sandals save people from injuries that can lead to ulcers and subsequent disability including loss of toes or the whole foot/leg
  • 43 people were given bespoke moulded shoes.

All these services mean people affected by leprosy regain mobility and independence. They can return to their families and communities, and work to earn a living. Your gift has restored dignity and self-worth to so many. Thank you.

Fitting Nuhu's prosthesisNuhu’s story

When Nuhu first saw pale patches on his hand, he did not think twice about them – he was 18 and had other things on his mind. He was also not aware of leprosy and its symptoms. But then he developed ulcers on his right foot, and they would not heal.

Eventually his mother took him to see a traditional healer. Nuhu was given a herbal mixture, but it didn’t cure his ulcers. Despite this, he carried on with life, got married and had four children.

It was only when he was 30 years old that he heard about The Leprosy Mission in Abuja. After years of pain and worry, he was finally accurately diagnosed and learned that he had leprosy. There was good news. He could be cured by taking a simple course of antibiotics – Multidrug therapy.

But the initial good news was quickly followed by distress. When Nuhu told his wife he had leprosy, she walked out on him and their four young children. Nuhu was heartbroken and felt completely isolated and alone, abandoned by the woman he loved and thought he could trust.

Then came even more terrible news. Despite the best efforts of his doctor, Nuhu’s ulcers had become so severe that there was no choice but to amputate his leg just below the knee. He was in absolute despair. How could he provide for his family? He could not afford a prosthetic leg. Would he be forced to beg for a living to feed his children?

But The Leprosy Mission didn’t abandon him. Instead, Nuhu was told that once his wound had healed, he could have a free prosthetic leg at Chanchaga Orthopaedic Centre.

We helped him to travel and gave him free accommodation at the Centre’s Guest House. Nuhu had to stay for 10 days to get the leg fitted and learn to walk with it.

He said: “Wow! I have never stayed anywhere like this before. I have a comfortable bed, aircon and my own bathroom! It is unbelievable. Now I can walk again I will be able to care for my animals and land. This will completely change my life!”

Nuhu is today a happy man. He tends to his animals, is able to provide for his family, and he’s re-married.

This would not have been possible without the generous support of trusts like yours. Because you care, you are helping other people like Nuhu regain their mobility, independence and dignity. You are transforming lives. We could not continue this work without your help. Thank you.

Thank you for your kindness. Your amazing support is changing lives!

Feedback report for Caterham Overseas Aid Trust
Chanchaga Orthopaedic Centre