March 16 was a day of rejoicing for hundreds of patients who visit TLM Chandkhuri Hospital in Chhattisgarh every day.
The hospital is situated 1 ½ km away from the bus stand on the newly opened National Highway 130 and the patients had to walk all the way to the hospital, as there was no other means of transport. Trekking on the dirt track was so cumbersome – especially for people affected by leprosy with disabilities – that many patients stopped visiting the hospital altogether.
The University of Chicago Medicine; Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence; and Medical Humanities Group, University College of Medical Sciences, University of Delhi – a US-India collaboration (http://bit.ly/2PIbH0Z) – jointly organised a Focus Group Discussion (FGD), with the theme, ‘No one left behind’, with disability rights activists, doctors with disabilities, and health profession educators, as part of its agenda, Disability-Inclusive Compassionate Care: Core Competencies on Disability for Health Professions Education, at the University of Chicago Center in New Delhi, on November 21.
Various hospitals, vocational training centres, and community empowerment projects of The Leprosy Mission Trust India celebrated Children’s Day on November 14, in a big way. Here’s a glimpse of the celebration by IHDID (Inclusive Holistic Development of Individuals with Disabilities) project, based in Kothara, Maharashtra.
The Government of India had declared in 2005 that leprosy had been eliminated as a public health problem in India. Ever since, leprosy has become less of a priority for the Government of India. Allocation of government funds dwindled, private funding dried up and training in leprosy for government health workers became dysfunctional. Grievously enough, since then the incidence of leprosy started growing in the country with over 130,000 new cases being detected every year.
The Leprosy Mission Trust India (TLMTI), the largest and oldest leprosy-focused non-governmental organisation in India, has won the prestigious Sat Paul Mittal National Award 2018 (http://www.nskt.org/NSKT_National_Award_2018.pdf), for its outstanding work with people affected by leprosy, people with disabilities and other marginalised communities.