Pehla Sign Action Time

A community-level campaign to change public attitudes towards leprosy

One of the strategic priorities in The Leprosy Mission Trust India’s (TLMTI) Country Strategy 2016-18 is Changed Societal Mindsets. TLMTI aims to change the mindset of society and communities about leprosy and the people affected by it. By changing the mindset, TLMTI expects society and communities to accept people affected by leprosy as equals, and not to deny them their rights to health, education, social life, employment, inclusion and development. It also aims to create a positive environment for society and the government to acknowledge leprosy as a public health priority.

To facilitate this mindset change, TLMTI has launched a community-driven leprosy awareness campaign by the name, ‘Pehla Sign Action Time’ (a person has to take action when the signs of leprosy or discrimination are seen, without any delay). In the first phase, the campaign was implemented in Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, and in the second phase, it will be implemented in other states where TLMTI is working. Through this campaign, TLMTI reaches out to reach out to various stakeholders, such as policy makers, Panchayati Raj Institutions, duty bearers, civil society organisations,community-based organisations, educational institutions, the media, and the general community, with key messages, such as leprosy is curable, MDT is available free of cost, early detection and treatment help in preventing disability, etc.

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