The Self Care Unit (SCU) at Anandaban Hospital provides Self Care education to people affected by leprosy. It is essential for people with leprosy-related sensory loss and muscle weakness to learn how to prevent injury and care for their wounds. The Self Care Unit provides practical training to do this to prevent the development of further injury or disability. The unit also distributes assistive devices like footwear.
The SCU provides self-care residential training to equip individuals to practically and psychologically participate in family and community life again. A typical Nepali house was built on the Anandaban Hospital compound specifically to train people in self-care practices.
Staff work alongside participants, teaching them how to complete everyday activities in a safe manner. This is supplemented by a range of classes taught by staff from all departments in the Anandaban Hospital, for instance the footwear department teaches a class about protective footwear and repair of shoes.
Giving participants Prevention of Impairment and Disability (POID) training in a house and surrounding area that closely resembles their own living environment helps to ensure the transferability of POID strategies to the issues and situations that participants encounter when returning home.
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The Leprosy Mission in NepalLeprosy remains a significant health problem in Nepal—a population where the majority of people are subsistence farmers. The leprosy-prevalence rate is 2.6 cases per 10,000 population (WHO, 2013), well above the World Health Organisation elimination target. Poverty, the stigma of leprosy, and poor access to healthcare all contribute to the high rate of leprosy.
The Leprosy Mission Australia has been working in partnership with the Nepali government since 1957, providing specialist leprosy care at Anandaban Hospital, which is also a centre for extensive leprosy research and treatment development.
In partnership with Leprosy Mission Nepal and Nepal Leprosy Fellowship (NLF), The Leprosy Mission Australia works in community empowerment, development, disability awareness and rehabilitation, and socio-economic rehabilitation in the Central Development and Eastern Development Regions of Nepal.
The Leprosy Mission Nepal is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by distributing sanitisers, masks and disinfectant soap to communities around the Anandaban Hospital area.
They are also raising community awareness through local radio stations.