Support needed to rehabilitate people once inflicted with leprosy

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KARACHI, June 22 (APP): Pakistan being the first country in the
region to achieve the target of leprosy control, also fast on its way
to leprosy elimination is in urgent need of a comprehensive
rehabilitation scheme for people once inflicted with the disease.
Officials associated with Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center talking
to APP Wednesday said a vocational training center is already
functional in the metropolis for the former leprosy patients having
lost their limbs during the ailment.
“The facility is not restricted to physically handicapped,” said
Mervyn Lobo mentioning that hands-on skill training is also imparted
to visually impaired.
Emphasizing that every trainee in the center is not necessarily
one who may have been, at any point of time, suffered from the
disease, he said people with impairments and no resources, keen to
learn skill in general are also accommodated here.
“Our motive is social and economic empowerment of people with
any sort of limitation” said the activist, a close associate of Dr.
Ruth Pfau.
In reply to a question, he said public support is always needed
to keep updated the training programs offered at the center as this is
crucial for capacity building of trainees in accordance to job market
demands.
“Support and assistance to help them in starting their own
businesses are equally relevant,” said Lobo in reply to another
question.
It was mentioned that people trained at the center include both
men and women practitioners of almost every religion with majority
comprising Muslims.
Donations made for their rehabilitation will lead to empowerment
of entire families and definitely can be cited as “Sadqa e Jaaria,” he
agreed in response to a comment made about money and other material
support provided for the cause.
Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center officials also mentioned the
project initiated under the guidance of Dr. Ruth Pfau for the
treatment and rehabilitation of TB patients from across the country.
They reiterated that people in general need to shun stigma
attached to Leprosy as well as TB and also to stop ostracizing the
sufferers.