Medical Volunteers Challenge Leprosy in 21st Century India
This week, Omprakash would like to spotlight one of our Partners in south India: the Madurai Health & Leprosy Relief Centre. This organization focuses on, but is not limited to, comprehensive solutions to leprosy management at the district level. It provides general education services regarding leprosy, HIV/AIDS, and Typhoid in addition to skill training.
Although leprosy is a rare disease in post-industrial economies, it is a relatively common and widely misunderstood disease in South Asia. It damages nerves on the body’s periphery, causes skin deformities, and allows secondary infections to continue to ravage the body unimpeded. India has the lion’s share of global leprosy cases– according to the WHO, roughly 58% (~128,000 people) of new cases reported in 2011 were reported in India. The very visible symptoms and inadequate treatment services perpetuate the existence of leper colonies across South Asia, and India in particular. Tragically, people suffering from leprosy tend to be marginalized socially and economically.
Organizations like Madurai Health & Leprosy Relief Centre strive to provide leprosy education in addition to medical treatment. The vast majority of humanity is naturally immune to leprosy and thus, with early detection and treatment, it can be eliminated and prevent subsequent infections. Perhaps more troubling than the treatment of leprosy is the social reintegration of leprosy survivors. Madurai Health & Leprosy Relief Centre seeks to promote their economic self-sufficiency through skills training. Finally, the centre works to raise public awareness concerning the many government health programs for leprosy and other diseases available to the general public.
The services provided by Madurai Health & Leprosy Relief Centre require skilled volunteers, preferably individuals with medical training. Individuals with such training are highly sought after and are requested to make at least a three to six month commitment. However, not all volunteer positions require medical literacy. Funding officers, for example, are needed collect foreign donations for facility/staff maintenance.
Thank you again for reading. If you are an individual with medical training or experience with fundraising, be sure to volunteer with Madurai Health & Leprosy Relief Centre. Also, be sure to comment below and to like, follow, and subscribe to Omprakash on its Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube accounts.