Lalgadh Hospital – extra care during COVID-19

We wish to acknowledge our appreciation to the wonderful, caring, work being undertaken by ALL staff at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Services Centre in Nepal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like many other countries, Nepal is in national lockdown (which will be reviewed on 12th May 2020). This is to restrict the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To date there have been 59 recorded COVID-19 cases nationally, no deaths have so far been recorded, however, testing has been very limited so actual numbers are unknown. About 10,000 people, contacts or possible cases, are in quarantine.

In this time of global pandemic Lalgadh hospital has provided an isolation ward and a quarantine ward for Covid-19 patients. Staff have been provided with training and personal protective equipment (PPE) as they care for patients during the pandemic.

Lalgadh hospital have severely cut back on normal hospital services. Outpatient numbers are approximately 600 patients daily, that is now reduced to about 40 – 50 patients, mostly leprosy, severely ill or emergency cases. All staff are working hard to continue to provide the normal service to leprosy patients whilst at the same time taking care of those who may have the virus and require isolation and monitoring. Everyone entering the hospital compound are tested for fever to ascertain if they have the virus.

Fever screening desk at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital. Photo: Sanjib Shrestha © NLT 2020

In the meantime, inpatients services are fully operational with about 70 inpatients in the wards, mostly leprosy patients including several children. 

Staff are working flat-out on extra anti-COVID infection control measures: systematically cleaning, disinfecting and fumigating the entire hospital, installing extra liquid soap and hand sanitiser dispensers, running education classes for the patients on hand-washing, stocking up on disinfectant, and still trying to acquire more reliable stock of PPE.

Due to the length of the lockdown the local government has distributed some food locally, however there is cause for concern about hunger, particularly in poverty affected communities. We are actively seeking information on this issue and may need to send relief to the affected communities that we serve.

The Nepalese people are a brave, resilient and caring people and continue to fight against all the odds. Please pray for the staff’s continued protection, safety and good health.

If you are interested in hearing more about our work or in sending a donation please contact Vera at:

Christmas Wishes 2019

We wish to take this opportunity to thank all our wonderful supporters and friends who assisted us throughout the year. We are hugely grateful. On behalf of all our colleagues in Nepal we thank you!

Our winter newsletter is available here if you wish to catch up on our successes of 2019.

Christmas Wishes 2019 © NLT Ireland

Welcome to the prosthetics ward of Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital

Welcome to the prosthetics ward of Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Services Centre!

Leprosy does not cause limb loss directly, but due to a lack of sensation in the hands and feet, a leprosy affected person is at much greater risk of injury. Burns, cuts and ulcers may go unnoticed, which can lead to infection and permanent damage. Here at Lalgadh, patients can get prosthetics free of charge. #WelcometoLalgadh

Prosthetics ward, Lalgadh Hospital

Prosthetics ward at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital.   Above photos: R. Thomas  © NLT Ireland 2019.

Celebrations in Sunderbasti

The village of Sunderbasti now has a large water storage tank. Before this August, villagers piped water from four kilometres away, but the pipes leaked leading to contamination, especially during the monsoon. With safe water now in every villagers home, NLT is celebrating with Sunderbasti.

Sunderbasti water store tank, September 2019. Photo & video credit, R. Thomas ©  NLT Ireland 2019

Dhamaura village, year 2 of Village Alive Programme

Dhamaura village is finishing its second year of the Village Alive Programme.

Dhamaura Village meeting, September 2019

The government has agreed to build 53 ‘pukka’ (good quality cement and brick) houses with stoves fitted with pipes to remove damaging fumes. This is the result of the villagers’ growing confidence; empowered by the Village Alive Programme, they have lobbied government to improve their living conditions.

Mhendra, Dhamaura Village

One such villager is Mhendra Majhi. Two years ago Mhendra lacked the confidence even to speak in front of people because of the stigma surrounding his leprosy. Now, with the encouragement of the Village Alive project workers, he acts as the leader of a self-help group in the village and runs a thriving business rearing goats and selling their milk!

Mhendra, leader of the Self Help Group in Dhamaura. Above photos: R. Thomas © NLT Ireland, 2019.                                                                                        

Irish field trip to Lalgadh – Day 3 in Manara

Irish field trip September 2019  to Lalgadh and its surrounding villages – Day 3 Manara.
The new community hall in Manara due to the Village Alive Programme is a sight to behold!

New community hall in Manara, thanks to the community and the Village Alive Programme.

The local government has already promised to come to the hall three times a month for immunisations, general health check -ups and maternal and child health visits.

Above photos:  R. Thomas ©  NLT Ireland 2019

Hari Choudury has run the Manara Self Help Group for seven years with great enthusiasm despite facing the effects of leprosy. For this reason he was chosen to be the coordinator of the Village Alive Programme in Manara. With great results already from the first year of the programme we can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Hari and his community!
The Village Alive Programme is a three programme and is part funded by Irish Aid with matched donor funding.

Irish trip to Lalgadh 2019 and its surrounding villages

Irish field trip 2019  to Lalgadh and its surrounding villages – Day 2. The Village Alive Programme is alive and well in Itarharwa where government officials describe a 50% improvement in the state of the village. Hygiene standards drastically rose as a personal cleaning programme was implemented. Women and men are also starting small businesses in mushroom farming, pig keeping and goat rearing. One very happy headmistress describes school attendance increasing by fifty pupils !

Itarharwa village school headmistress

Itarharwa village

 The mayor of Itaharwa is a huge supporter of the Village Alive Programme. He shares NLT’s aim to improve the lives of lower caste people.

Above photos: R. Thomas © NLT Ireland 2019.

Visiting the Village Alive Programme

NLT supports the Village Alive Programme which empowers some of the poorest, most disadvantaged people suffering from leprosy and other debilitating conditions, to transform their own lives and also spearhead improvements to the whole village. In this way, the most rejected people become community leaders.

Day 1 of NLT Irelands visit to Nepal, September 2019.

Sarita, with her mushrooms, in Gourishanker Village

This is Sarita from Gourishanker Village, Nepal. Because of the Women’s Savings Group set up by the Village Alive Programme in Gourishanker, Sarita received training to farm mushrooms. She is growing the seeds in a dark room of her hut and in a few months can start selling them . This will provide her with income to support her family.

Water now much more accessible in Gourishanker

The Village Alive Programme members in Gourishanker have also installed 2 new water pumps in the village, thus making water much more accessible.  Our Village Alive Programme is part funded by Irish Aid

New water pump in Gourishanker Village. September 2019. Above photos: R .Thomas © NLT Ireland 2019

Nepal Ireland Day 2019, Farmleigh House, Dublin

We had a wonderful day on Sunday 7th September as we celebrated Nepal Ireland Day 2019 in Farmleigh House, Dublin.

We danced and sang in the Nepalese and Irish traditional style. Both nationalities are warm, open and celebrate in similar ways. Food also plays a celebratory role in these occasions although there are differences in the type of food. However Irish cuisine is generally  rapidly changing and becoming much more international, with the inclusion of lots of variety in spices and rices.

During the afternoon at Farmleigh House we were able to talk to the public about our mission. We also had the opportunity to sell our beautiful handicrafts, which are made by the artisans we know and work with in Nepal.

Thanks to R. Thomas for the above photos © NLT Ireland 2019

Many thanks to the many wonderful organisers, with special thanks to all at Nepal Ireland Society, Nepal Tourism and Embassy of Nepal London

Emergency Flood Relief

Call for Emergency Flood Relief Aid, please support.

The heavy rain and flooding in Nepal over the last few weeks, due to the Monsoon, has not really reached our ears as we bask in summer temperatures of around 23 degrees here in Ireland.

We have received news from our Nepal colleagues that 78 houses in the Terai district have been totally damaged due to constant rain and flooding. 74 houses have been partially damaged. The following images are of families we support in Manara Village, whose homes have been destroyed.

Manara is one of villages which is part of our  Village Alive Programme  supported by Irish Aid.

Our work is focused in the Terai district of Nepal and so this is unsettling for us. Some of our village Self Help Group (SHG) members’ homes have been destroyed and damaged. Our SHG members support, encourage and assist other villagers who are struggling. They are a lifeline in the community.

If you would like to contribute towards rebuilding these homes, please make a donation here  and state Flood Relief Aid.

All Nepal Leprosy Trust staff, their families and all patients are fine.

If you would like more detail, please contact Vera at