Fresh hope for leprosy patients

Fresh hope for leprosy patients

Surgery opens up platform for those hailing from economically weaker sections

 
The surgery, conducted for the first time in a government hospital in the State, has now opened up a platform for leprosy patients from the economically weaker sections. This could be a monthly affair.

The State Health Department’s Leprosy Division had arranged the programme under the aegis of National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP).

“Till now the NGOs were managing these surgeries. However, we thought that if it was conducted in a government hospital, the patients would get free treatment,” said Dr V Dinamani, joint director, Leprosy Division, Department of Health and Family Welfare.
Also, a government hospital would have various specialists in house and it would be easier to co-ordinate, she added.

Of the 13 beneficiaries, 11 are men and a woman and a child are the other two. The surgeries were conducted by a team of doctors led by Dr Atul Shah from J J Medical College, Mumbai.

The patients were kept in the hospital post-surgery for two days.

Fund for follow-up visits

The Department will now fund two more follow-up visits over the next three weeks. Under NLEP, the patients will receive Rs 3,000 after surgery and Rs 1,000 each for two follow-up physiotherapy sessions.

This process will be replicated. The Health Department has proposed to make this a monthly affair, although the dates would depend on Shah’s schedule.

 “Due to lack of trained local plastic surgeons and orthopedicians in this area, we have invited Shah. There is a need to sensitise plastic surgeons in our State to undertake charity work. In fact, Shah will train interested orthopedicians as these cases take longer hours,” said Dinamani.

Ten orthopedicians from Hassan, Chikmagalur, Mysore and Bangalore Rural  learnt the techniques during the recent surgeries. “Such surgeries should be done in all district hospitals as it does not take much resources or manpower. Once these doctors attend three or four such camps, they can take care of such cases,” said Dr Viswaradhya, Medical Superintendent of K C General Hospital.

As the hospital proposed to train two of the three orthopedicians to handle leprosy-related deformities, it has intended to purchase special instruments worth over Rs one lakh, revealed Dinamani.

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