USAID Grant for Leprosy Hospital in Nepal Brings Hope to Staff and Patients

A three-year, $250,000 grant to American Leprosy Missions from USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) came to a successful conclusion late last year. The grant funded capital improvements at Anandaban Leprosy Hospital in Nepal including expanded diagnostic and research facilities, improved treatment and training technology and updated communications systems.

The funding has enabled the hospital to expand their diagnostic lab services to better meet the needs of the patients. Thanks to new equipment like an automated cell counter, efficiency has also been greatly improved. Previously it took one hour for a technician to count individual blood cells using a microscope. Now it takes less than a minute.

Deanna Hagge, Ph.D., Head of Labs at Anandaban says, “In Nepali, the word ‘asha’ literally translates into the word ‘hope.’ Besides direct services impact, the facilities update has brought hope and encouragement to our staff and the patients they serve. Leprosy patients are often the forgotten poor. This ASHA grant has helped them to know that there are people who care and that there is, indeed, hope.”