Self-help Group Federation and the Continuum of Care in Coordination with the National Leprosy Program

Persons affected by leprosy require support when faced with marginalization, discrimination, and poverty. Self-Help Groups (SHGs) for people with leprosy exist in many places, but they sometimes lack collaboration. The Bogura Federation in Bangladesh united over 100 SHGs to empower members and contribute to a progressive society framework. The Federation strengthened SHGs’ capacity and leadership and united people with other disabilities and acute poverty status through advocacy, counseling, and self-care support. As a result of the participating SHG members’ community-wide health-status approach, case detection rates improved, defaulters returned to treatment, and more than 800 people started income-generating activities through seed-fund projects.