Ismael's Story


People know that he has an illness but not that it is leprosy.

Ismael, aged 38, is from Kutum in North Darfur State of Sudan, about 900 km from the capital Khartoum. This is an area which has been heavily affected by the civil war. At home Ismael is a farmer but, along with other people from that region, he moves seasonally to Khartoum to sell agricultural produce. He rents a house in Khartoum with some other people from his area. His wife and eight children remain at home in the village.

Ismael first came to the Aburoff clinic in Khartoum in January 2014. Aburoff clinic is operated by TLM staff in collaboration with the Episcopal Church of Sudan. Ismael had noticed some pain in his hands but ignored it for a long time, until he felt it in more places and he started to get pale patches on his body and face that were not sensitive to touch. He went to the Dermatology Hospital in Khartoum where he was referred to Aburoff and was diagnosed with leprosy. He says he took the news well and was not shocked to be told he had the disease.

Ismael comes every month to Aburoff to receive multidrug therapy for leprosy and for check-ups to ensure he is not at risk of complications from the disease. He has not suffered any reaction and does not have any disability. He has a slight lack of feeling in his feet, but he says leprosy has not affected his livelihood at all. People know that he has an illness but not that it is leprosy. He hopes that if people knew it was leprosy they would not react negatively towards him.

Ismael expects to go home in six or seven months to his family and continue with his farming as normal.