For years, they have been suffering from the debilitating effects of the neglected tropical disease Lymphatic Filariasis. But now, Institute of Applied Dermatology (IAD) at Kasargod in Kerala is transforming the lives of hundreds of filariasis patients in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala through an innovative and integrated treatment protocol which has achieved unprecedented success in curing thousands of patient and restoring smiles back on their faces.
By joining hands with state governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Institute of Applied Dermatology (IAD) has set up expansion centres at government ayurveda colleges in Varanasi, Patna, Begusarai and Lucknow to offer free treatment to patients suffering from Lymphoedema or elephantiasis or other underlying damage to the lymphatic system, example post breast cancer treatment.
The integrated treatment developed by IAD by combining modern medicine of allopathy with ayurveda and Yoga has successfully transformed the lives of thousands of filariasis patients.
“We are working in coordination with the state governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to offer treatment to several individuals, who for many years, have been enduring physical and emotional pain, facing social stigma and isolation due to their condition,” said Institute of Applied Dermatology Chairman Dr S R Narahari. He said the IAD is thankful to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding the project aimed at improving the quality of life of thousands of filariasis patients who have lost hope in leading a normal life.
“We could successfully cure patients because of our holistic, integrated treatment protocol that combines medical interventions, psychosocial support and community engagement. By employing a team of experienced doctors, nurses, and support staff, we ensure that patients receive personalised and empathetic care. Our treatment procedure also follows a system which includes self care and providing training to immediate family members on the treatment methods. Many of our patients have shown immediate results within two weeks of the treatment,” Dr Narahari said.
The integrated treatment protocol, which has been published in leading medical journals after undergoing successful clinical trials, follows a range of approaches that include anti-parasitic medications, lymphatic drainage techniques and wound care. “Our patients show tremendous improvement within a few days of treatment. They experience a significant reduction in swelling and improved mobility. We also emphasise patient education and follow-up care to ensure the long-term well-being of those who have been treated,” Dr Narahari said.
In fact, the power of integrated treatment has highlighted the transformative impact it can have on the lives of individuals affected by neglected tropical diseases. “We are making a profound difference and paving the way for a brighter future for filariasis patients,” Dr Narahari added.
(This article is part of our public health awareness campaign #Hoperenewed)