The McKean Senior Centre (formerly known as McKean Rehabilitation Centre) provides many services to the community in Chiang Mai, among which is a three-pronged leprosy program.
Firstly, the hospital-based leprosy control program treats people at McKean’s on-site hospital, including migrants and refugees who struggle to access healthcare in the public system.
The community-based leprosy control program works with government health workers to ensure people living in the community are diagnosed and treated for leprosy effectively and without discrimination.
Finally, McKean continues to provide accommodation and care to 28 elderly leprosy-affected people. The residents frequently host visits from primary Thai students and medical students from around the world to talk about the legacy of leprosy stigma and discrimination in Thailand.
Social Return on Investment
Through McKean’s hospital, 48 people affected by leprosy or disability were provided with assistive footwear, at a cost of $22 per person.
Project Outcome: A father accesses treatment that saves his livelihood
Wennai first noticed the signs of leprosy developing when he was nine years old, living in Rakhine State, Myanmar. He lived at hospital for three years because of leprosy complications, but in that time, became a Christian.
When Wennai grew up, he found it hard to find work because of the stigma associated with his clawed hands and facial nerve damage. He moved to Thailand in search of work, where he married and started a family. Now, he’s working as a wholesale flower supplier.
However, Wennai still struggles with ulcers that form because of his leprosy-induced nerve damage. Recently, he developed an ulcer on his foot which threatens his ability to work. Thanks to the care at McKean’s hospital, he was able to access quick and affordable treatment for this ulcer, so he can keep his job:
“I’ve got to be responsible now for my family. I want to make sure I can still work.”
“I want to say thank you to The Leprosy Mission supporters of McKean, because due to the support I’ve received here I am now able to continue to look after my family. May God bless you richly for supporting people like me through TLM.”Give To This Project
The Leprosy Mission in ThailandThe Leprosy Mission's involvement in the country goes back to 1911, when it was still called Siam. The Mission helped fund housing for homeless patients on a river island donated by the ruler of Chiang Mai.
It is now the flourishing McKean Rehabilitation Centre. Owned and run by the Thai church. McKean is The Leprosy Mission's partner organisation in Thailand.
McKean cares for and integrates patients with leprosy and disabilities and age-related problems. It is recognised as the centre providing leprosy expertise in north Thailand, and also provides residential treatment and rehabilitation for marginalised or displaced disabled persons, along with training in activities to promote sustainable livelihoods.
McKean has also, in recent years, been pioneering the development of multi-tiered aged care for the broad spectrum of elderly folk in the region.