Restoration of leprosy ward at LRH demanded

PESHAWAR:

The Leprosy, TB and Blindness Relief Association has demanded the restoration of the 20-bed ward at Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) reserved for treatment of leprosy patients in the province.

The leprosy ward at LRH was the lone facility in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where patients from across the province were getting proper treatment and medicine free of cost, shared renowned surgeon Dr Arif who is serving voluntarily as president of K-P Leprosy, TB and Blindness Relief Association.

Talking to newsmen during his visit to Peshawar Press Club, Dr Arif disclosed that after the demolition of the lone Leprosy Ward at LRH a couple of years earlier, patients of this chronic skin disease are suffering due to lack of proper treatment.

The leprosy patients are now referred to the skin ward of LRH where only four beds are reserved for patients which is insufficient and a majority of them are compelled to return to their homes where they cannot not get proper treatment and care, Dr Arif explained.

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He said the leprosy patient needs months of proper treatment and healing which was provided at LRH ward, but now the patients are not able to get admission and have to stay at their homes.

He said around 100 patients come every year whereas there are thousands of sufferers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, especially in its hilly terrain of Chitral, Swat, Dir and Buner districts.

The Leprosy Ward was established in the 1980 with the support of MALC (Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center) headed by late Dr Ruth Pfau, a German lady who migrated in 1961 and devoted more than 55 years of her life to fighting leprosy in Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21th2024.

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