AT least ten million people in the world are believed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to have leprosy.
GV Control team arriving in village in Landrover. (4 SHOTS)
CU Children, GV ZOOM IN TO CU control assistant examining child. (3 SHOTS)
SV Team riding horses across country, DISSOLVE TO them walking across rough ground. (3 SHOTS)
SV & CU Team arriving at village, both shake hands with disfigured old man, give him pills. (5 SHOTS)
GV Aircraft flies low, lands, DISSOLVE TO team leaving aircraft, walking to village. (4 SHOTS)
GV Control assistant speaking to chiefs, CU old man with pipe, CU other listeners. (5 SHOTS)
GV School classroom, CU slide projector. (4 SHOTS)
CU Slides projected, symptoms of leprosy. (3 SHOTS)
CU Leaflets entitled "Leprosy can be cured."
SC "Leprosy Control" placard, CU Photographs at exhibition, SV people look a photographs. (8 SHOTS)
GV Interior physiotherapy class, CU instructor, CU hands, SV mother with baby. (6 SHOTS)
SV Patients line up for drugs, child at front, SV crippled old man. (3 SHOTS)
SV Small boy given tablets, takes drink. (3 SHOTS)
These scene were filmed for the leprosy Mission. Further details of their documentary on the treatment of leprosy in Lesotho may be obtained from The Leprosy Mission, 50 Portland Place, London Win 3DG
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: AT least ten million people in the world are believed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to have leprosy. But only about a third of them have been traced. Efforts are going on continuously to find the sufferers and persuade them that the disease can be cured if they will take a course of treatment.
SYNOPSIS: This is part of the campaign, in Lesotho in southern Africa. Leprosy control officer Margaret Phillips and her local assistants travel vast distances to remote villages, following up reports of possible cases. Many people are so afraid of the disease that they try to hide it, and perhaps suffer unnecessarily. This boy turned out not to have leprosy at all.
When the road runs out, and even a Landrover can get no further, Margaret Phillips and her assistants take to horseback, or even their feet to get through to the mountain feet to get through to the mountain villages. In this one they have a record of a leprosy case, an old man called Samuel, who has not been attending the clinic and has fallen behind with his treatment. One of the most difficult tasks for the control officers is to persuade people to go they are cured.
Although Lesotho is quite a small country, its internal air services are good. These, or charter flights if necessary, allow the leprosy control team to cover their territory: persuading suspects to come for tests, confirmed cases to starts or continue treatment, or trying to trace patients with whom they have lost touch. They also attend local gatherings to get their message across. the mission worker is saying: "Don't be afraid of leprosy. Report any cases you know. The disease can be cured".
The best place for health education is the schools. the control teams believe it is vitally important to give the young people a sensible attitude to leprosy. They demonstrate the first signs -- perhaps patches on the skin; and what will develop if no treatment is taken. But always the message is the same: early treatment will prevent disfigurement. leprosy can be cured.
A big social gathering gives the Leprosy Mission the chance to mount an exhibition, telling the people in a simple, graphic way what to look for,, what will happen if they do not take any action, and above all, what to do and where to go.
The hospital and treatment centre is at Botsabelo, just outside the capital, Maseru. Vincent takes a daily physiotherapy class and also runs the workshop. The exercises help to keep hands and feet supple, and sometimes save the patient having to undergo surgery.
Most patients are on daily doses of Dapsone. It is cheap and effective -- so long as the patient goes on taking it. That is one of the main worries of the staff at the centre: they can put people on the way to a complete cure: but it is extremely difficult to make sure that they follow it.