Orthopaedic Surgery on Leprosy Patients

Calcutta India, February 2002.

Even though leprosy infections are decreasing on a world scale, full control of the disease has still eluded mainly six countries, top of which is India with 500.000 (detected) cases at the start of 2000.
Leprosy is a chronic infection affecting the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and also the eyes.
Since its detection leprosy can be stopped by antibiotics but the mutilations caused by it are permanent. So called 'drop feet' – patients have to lift their knees to actually be able to walk – 'claw hands', disappearing nose bridges and missing limbs mutilate and stigmatise the patients forever.
Soothing these long-term effects is the purpose of plastic and orthopaedic surgery done by a team of doctors and nurses who were sponsored by the NGO Pro Interplast e.V..
The following pictures have been taken during a stay at the Leprosy Centre Titagarh in Calcutta, which was founded by Mother Teresa.

Thanks to Mrs and Mr Huck / Pro Interplast e.V. Seligenstadt, Dr. Matthias Axt, Dr. Michael Hatzenbühler, Dr. Bettina Küsgen, Prof. Dr. Henrik Menke, Monika Mandel, Waltraud Munz, Anne von Reumont, Kerstin Weichelt

Diploma project. Partially published in DUMMY Magazine # 5 “Glauben”, 2004.