Mission Co-op Appeal Special Collection
Leprosy Relief Rural Centre (LRRC) provides medical assistance to patients with leprosy and tuberculosis throughout the diocese of Salem at no cost. LRRC was started in 1956 when leprosy affected one in ten thousand people in the Salem district. The Centre has cured thousands of leprosy patients.
The centre is staffed to find those with leprosy, bring them in, and provide free medical care, The patients are diagnosed and if need be they are kept as inpatients also at no cost. In this way thousands of patients have been cured.
Since the leprosy cured patients are vulnerable to ulcers, mainly due to loss of sensation, LRRC imparts adequate awareness and training too on self-care management. It provides Micro Cellular Rubber Footwear and ulcer care materials. Patients with large ulcers may be hospitalized for a long time. Wherever possible skin grafting is performed for an early cure. Deformity is one of the most common problems for people with leprosy, so LRRC performs reconstructive surgeries to correct deformities in legs and hands so that patients can manage for themselves. Even now, LRRC performs 20 to 30 surgeries per year. The centre has rehabilitated several leprosy patients with self-employment, for example, some have been hired to clean and maintain the centre.
Since 1995, LRRC has also cared for tuberculosis patients. Patients are identified through saliva test, X-ray and treated with oral medications. Some patients need help getting nutritious food to help them get well quickly. We also have St. Joseph’s, a multi-specialty hospital with 70 beds caring for poor people from rural areas. We are conducting more than 20 cataract surgeries per month and we are treating diabetic ulcers also. We are providing free physiotherapy treatment to children suffering from syphilis and polio.
Our motto is quality medical care at affordable cost. We have a team of nurses who go to people’s houses, teach about the need for good health, and invite them for free diabetic and eye screenings and for free treatment for basic health care. We are providing total care to the leprosy and tuberculosis patients – all at no charge.
Obviously, the center needs financial support for all the medical care we provide. We depend solely upon philanthropic donors and well-wishers to be able to continue these free treatments. The center needs to renovate some old buildings which keep inpatients. Your generous contribution is greatly appreciated and allows us to continue the Lord’s work. I look forward to meeting you after the masses on July 14 and 15.
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