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A girl receiving treatment in the centre A girl receiving treatment in the centre

Our projects

The Koraput Care Centre, Odisha, India

Our Koraput Care Centre is committed to improving the quality of life for people affected by leprosy and lymphatic filariasis (LF).

The facts:

We began working in Odisha in 1991. The focus then was to reach out to the most marginalised tribal communities and to provide those affected by leprosy with quality health care services.

Today our Koraput Care Centre, based in a government-leased building, offers a wide range of in-patient and out-patient services for local people affected by leprosy and Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) and continues to act as a base for outreach support in remote, rural areas. The holistic services provided are fully integrated into the local Ministry of Health, filling vital gaps where there is no other provision. Lepra staff work closely with the government’s National Leprosy Eradication Programme at district and state level.

As well as male and female in-patient wards and treatment rooms, the centre also houses a laboratory with a lab technician, a footwear facility employing a designated shoe technician, and a physiotherapy technician. The team support in-patients and out-patients and deliver outreach activities for people affected by leprosy in 17 blocks across the Koraput, Nowrangpur, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sonepur and Bargarh districts in the State of Odisha covering approximately 2.5 million people, where 74% to 82% of the population are living below the poverty line.

What exactly are we doing: 

  • Conducting disability prevention and medical rehabilitation clinics at government health facilities
  • Providing protective footwear and assessing people for reconstructive surgery
  • Offering physiotherapy and pre and post-op care for reconstructive surgery
  • Helping with socio-economic rehabilitation which means looking at skills training and access to disability grants
  • Providing health education by showing films and displaying exhibitions at markets that can improve knowledge surrounding diseases like leprosy and LF
  • Training healthcare workers to detect the signs of leprosy
  • Facilitating and mobilising people with leprosy and LF to form block and district level networks and support groups

This comprehensive range of services is available to people who would overwise struggle to access support to manage and prevent their leprosy and LF related disabilities. These patients, often subjected to discrimination and prejudice, can also access peer group support which can help them cope with mental health issues and promotes wellbeing. We consider the Koraput Care Centre is a vital project and are committed to ensuring its continuation and long-term sustainability.

Future Plans

We are committed to strengthening the local health system and to securing a long-term sustainable solution for the Koraput Care Centre. Ultimately, our aim is that it might be incorporated into the government-run healthcare system, as an extension of the nearby S.L.N. Medical College and Hospital, who would take overall responsibility to fulfil the requirements of the Clinical Establishment Act, including staffing and clinical oversight. In doing so, this would further embed care for people affected by leprosy and LF into the local public health system. Lepra would continue to support other core services: physiotherapists, a shoe technician, a lab technician and, if necessary, non-staffing costs of the in-patient ward. LEPRA Society regularly engages with local government officials and senior management of the S.L.N. Medical College and Hospital, as well as other stakeholders, working towards this goal but progress is slow.  

How can you help?

To help us continue our work in this region and relieve some of the burden facing people affected by leprosy and LF, you can take part in a challenge event or hold a life-changing tea, find out more here. Together we can beat leprosy.