TODAY -

Govt discriminates Leprosy patients
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Mangolchand Chingakham

Imphal, July 26 2011: Government of Manipur is taking care of many patients of different diseases but it is not concerned about the Leprosy patients.

The government is concerned about most of the patients who are suffering from or living with different diseases in the state, but unlike others the patients living with Leprosy disease is discriminated by the government.

Since it does not plan or take measures for the betterment of Leprosy patients in the state.

Even it can be said that government of Manipur does not care about the problems being faced by the leprosy patients in the state.

Therefore, it is quite clear that the government of Manipur and its medical department discriminate the leprosy patients.

Hueiyen Lanpao had investigated about this matter seriously and consequently the field reports have proved that the government and the medical department are very careless about the welfare of the leprosy patients.

When Hueiyen Lanapo visited at the Leprosy Hospital at Lei-Ingkhol Chingmeirong Imphal, it has come to light that the hospital existed only for namesake since the infrastructures of the hospital and the office is very poor that the laboratory room was found not functioning at all and the laboratory room was full of cow dung as it is like a cowshed.

Moreover there is no electricity in the office and the hospital since 2001 and the toilet has been out of order for many years.

The conditions of the patients quarters in which fine patients are presently staying are very bad and unhygienic.

Currently there are five leprosy patients staying in the quarters of this hospital, but these patients are considered as outpatients by the hospital and consequently they have been asked to vacate the quarters at their earliest.

Altogether there are more than 20 leprosy patients in the area including the five patients at quarters.

These patients are physically handicapped since all of them have lost their fingers, legs or hands due to Leprosy.

The hospital of course provide them medicine and treatment whenever they have reaction due to the disease.

However the government has stopped providing them rations and diet some years back.

Since then they have been surviving on the mercy of some NGOs and civil socities who provided them foods and other materials.

Naorem Sarat of Sagolband Tera Lukram Leirak, Givind Nirdhar of Jharkhand, his wife Maya Chetry of Kangpokpi, Salam Mema of Keibul Lamjao and Laishram Panthoi of Khurai Thongam Leikai are currently staying at the hospital's quarters since they have nowhere to go back.

Government is also pressing them to vacate the quarters since the hospital authority have discharged them saying that they can now live in their home taking them as outpatients.

However, the patients are unwilling to leave the place since they have nowhere to go and they have fear of discrimination and stigma if they settled at some placesand they are demanding the government to provide them an alternative arrangement.

80 years old Laishram Panthoi told Hueiyen Lanpao that they just want to die there since they forgot where they belong to and they have nowhere to go.

Social worker Ahanthem Tolen who has been helping them said that the government should not vacate them.

Instead they should be dealt with care and love.

Government should provide them an alternative arrangement inside the hospital campus.

Meanwhile, the hospital itself is facing many problems due to lack of infrastructure like water supply, electricity, toilet etc.

Currently there are two doctors, three staff nurses, one lab technician, two pharmacists, one physiotherapist, one chowkidar and one ward attendant.

State Leprosy Officer Dr Pramod told Hueiyen Lanpao that he had requested the concerned authority several times to repair the quarters and provide the required infrastructures but no positive response from the side of the authority is received yet.


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