New sanatorium for leprosy patients

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 30:

A total of 30 leprosy patients are to be shifted to a new sanatorium at Khokana Arogya Ashram tomorrow to rehabilitate them with their families.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency-Nepal (ADRA-Nepal) had financially and technically supported

the construction of the sanatorium for Nepal Leprosy Relief Association.

“The new sanotorium was built to provide social rehabilitation to all leprosy patients,” said Laxmi Raj Manandhar,

the acting president of the Nepal Leprosy Relief Association (NLRA).

Manandhar added, “Level of awareness about the disease has increased a lot and Nepal has come very close to achieve the goal of eliminating the disease from the country by the year 2005.”

Asta Laxmi Shakya, minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare, is scheduled to inaugurate the building.

NLRA president Manandhar highlighted the need of rehabilitation and policy guidelines for rehabilitation.

“Though the level of awareness about the disease has inceased considerably leprosy patients are still discriminated and stigmatised in some parts of the country.”

Though rehabilitation of leprosy began some 145 years ago, there is no policy guideline to streamline rehabilitation works.

The Ministry of Health (MoH), however, said drafting of a rehabilitation policy is on the process and would be completed within this year.

The Khokana Arogya Ashram is providing shelter to some 200 leprosy patients at present.

The government bears the expense for the food of these patients staying at the ashram.

The NLRA provides technical training to all the recovered patients at the ashram.

The NLRA carries on its work for leprosy patients with support from different donors.