Rotary Club Of Delhi South Carriers Out Large-Scale Relief Work Across Leprosy Colonies In The National Capital Region

India accounts for more than half (almost 60%) of new leprosy cases worldwide, despite being declared ‘leprosy-free’ in 2005

India accounts for more than half (almost 60%) of new leprosy cases worldwide, despite being declared ‘leprosy-free’ in 2005. As part of The Leprosy Control Project helmed by Rotary Club of Delhi South (RCDS), Lepra UK (India branch), Assets Care and Reconstruction Enterprise Ltd (ACRE) and partner Rotary Clubs – Regency Next, New Delhi, Delhi South end, to support palliative care and rehabilitation of the leprosy patients, in the presence of DDG Dr. Anil Kumar, SLO Dr. Ritu Chaudhary, PDG Deepak Kapur Chairman Rotary Club Alliance for Leprosy Control and Mr. Anil Agarwal President Rotary Club of Delhi South, 100 tricycles and 30 four legged walkers were distributed and solar panels were installed at the Mother Teresa Home, Leprosy Colony, Tahirpur, Delhi.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a lot of multi-dimensional challenges for leprosy patients. Their supply of medication was disrupted, many lost their livelihoods, they did not have access to food or medical care, making their living conditions worse than what it already was pre-covid for this most neglected section of our society. As a result, they did not receive timely treatment and their conditions deteriorated. The pandemic halted and to some extended unraveled a lot of the work done in controlling the disease.

PDG Deepak Kapur, Chairman, Rotary Club Alliance for Leprosy Control said, “Leprosy is a progressive condition which is physically and emotionally debilitating. If untreated, it can result in physical deformities. Patients often require around the clock medical support, and therefore the work being done by the Rotary Club of Delhi South and partner Rotary Clubs, Lepra and ACRE at the Mother Teresa Home is of vital importance. The Mother Teresa Home has led the way with respect to leprosy control, management and rehabilitation in Delhi, and the support being provided by the Leprosy Control Project will only further the ability of the organization to continue positively impacting Leprosy patients, their families and the larger community.”

Mr. Pradeep Bahri, CEO Rotary Club Alliance for Leprosy Control said, “Patients of leprosy are often discriminated against and many of them do not seek treatment due to the stigma attached to the condition. There is a lot of misinformation regarding leprosy, particularly with respect to its perceived incurability, making the plight of the patients deplorable. It is of immense importance that the right information reaches the public and we will continue to endeavor to do so through our awareness activities and relief interventions.”

Mr. Mohd Shariq Malik, Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, Assets Care and Reconstruction Enterprise Ltd (ACRE), “The lack of knowledge and information among citizens, inadequate access to healthcare services is one of the main challenges with respect to leprosy control in India. Our work has been designed to bridge this gap so one day India can declare itself leprosy free.”

As a part of the Leprosy Control Program, Rotary Club of Delhi South along with its partners, installed solar panel support in two Leprosy colonies, saving families from expenditure on electricity bills. Additionally, 37 physiotherapy camps have been conducted in various Leprosy Colonies and palliative care, physiotherapy, self-aid kits, protective/special footwear (called MCR footwear, made of microcellular rubber) has been provided. 6 training camps and have been undertaken to facilitate capacity building. We have also held several Information Education and Communication session across Delhi all through the year and have enhanced our efforts on this front since Jan 2022. Amid the pandemic, lunch support has been provided in 2 leprosy colonies all through 2020 and since August last year and Rotary has distributed blankets to families in various leprosy colonies in 2021 and 2022.

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