This phase of the project began in July 2017 and provides elderly disabled leprosy patients with quality, holistic residential care support in northern and western border regions of Thailand.
Due to past experiences of stigma, social rejection and dislocation from families, elderly people affected by leprosy can lack a social support network. Because of ongoing, and often worsening disability, elderly people affected by leprosy experience increasing immobility, dependency and lessening quality of life.
Social exclusion, limited education and limited mobility, can cause a lack awareness for these people their rights to access government benefits (e.g. disability pensions).
This project aims to provide housing and strengthen leprosy and disability services for these elderly people in northern and western border regions of Thailand.
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.