One individual can not save the world. However one individual can change it. Dr. S. Anath Reddy is accountable for Sivananda Rehabilitation Residence in Hyderabad, India. It’s a place for individuals who have leprosy.
No different illness has such a historical past of stigma as leprosy. The traditional Egyptians and Greeks wrote about it. Medieval Europe banned individuals with leprosy from their communities.
Immediately, leprosy is simple to remedy whether it is detected early. That doesn’t cease many with leprosy from feeling like outcasts.
India struggles with leprosy greater than another nation. Sivananda has served as a hospital and refuge in India for six many years.
To step into the hospital is to enter one other time. Sufferers, some with stubby fingers and others with grey pores and skin patches, relaxation on outdated metallic cots.
Within the small Sivananda working room, Dr. Reddy repairs palms and toes.
In workshops, family of the sick spin yarn and weave material to make bandages.
Many older sufferers don’t need to go away. Leprosy has carved their faces. Their noses are flat, and their ears are misshapen. They refuse to rejoin a society that has rejected them.
Sivananda is dwelling to round 250 individuals with leprosy. Sufferers reside in small blockhouses. Garments dangle from traces. Radios play outdated tunes.
Dr. Reddy has spent his working lifetime of forty years on the hospital. He’s a reconstructive surgeon, and his ability is within the delicate surgical procedure wanted to restore palms broken by leprosy.
He does many different issues. He has a employees of 55 individuals. The finances is lower than $350,000, and a lot of the cash comes from donations. Companies are freed from cost.
An observer stated, “Dr. Reddy is just like the heartbeat of Sivananda. He animates the place and retains it alive.”
Dr. Reddy sits with sufferers within the quiet sunlit wards. He locations his palms on the shoulders of sufferers to consolation them. He noticed the pains of lepers whereas he was a medical pupil. Seeing beggars with the illness current their our bodies to passers-by for monetary support moved him.
He stated, “The second you say leper, your thoughts goes to deformities and the images you may have seen. However it’s not that. It’s a simple to remedy, detectable, stoppable illness.”
The germ that causes leprosy can linger within the physique for 20 years earlier than there are signs. It could unfold by shut contact.
Many nations wouldn’t have new circumstances. India has greater than half of the world’s 200,000 new leprosy circumstances every year. It’s due to its dense inhabitants. Many Indians reside along with poor air flow and sanitation.
Why are there new circumstances? The illness can now be handled. So well being employees have stopped conducting the routine screening. The reply to the leprosy downside is early analysis. For individuals with the analysis, a drug firm gives free multidrug remedy.
Lepers are nonetheless shunned in India. Sivananda Hospital and Dr. Reddy give the care and hope that these with leprosy desperately want.
Supply: The New York Instances January 25, 2022