MKCG leprosy facilities has few takers

Berhampur: Not many seem to be interested in availing the benefits of reconstructive surgery centre for cured leprosy patients at MKCG medical college and hospital here which has been functioning for over five years.

Since the 12-bed centre was established in November 2006, only 165 persons have been operated upon, sources said. This is despite the government announcing one time cash incentives of Rs 5,000, free treatment and medicines.

"Lack of awareness about government incentives and the facilities available at the centre is the main reason behind the poor headcount of patients", said a medical officer. "We asked health staff and ASHA workers to encourage cured leprosy patients for the operation," said the chief district medical officer, Ganjam, S.K.Pattnaik. He was addressing a meeting to mark National Leprosy Day.

Even though the number of leprosy patients has gone down significantly in the district, the cured patients are not aware of the reconstructive surgery, said district leprosy officer Nirakara Bhatta. During a fortnight-long campaign against leprosy, health workers and activists would create awareness about the surgey at the RSC, he said.