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Free skin disease check-up camp held at Chakulia

A one-day free skin disease check-up camp was organized at the Community Health Centre, Chakulia, on Tuesday, December 19, 2023. The camp was aimed at identifying and treating leprosy patients, as well as raising awareness about the disease and its prevention.

The camp was conducted by the District Nucleus team, which consists of District Leprosy Consultant, Dr. Rajeev Lochan Mahato, Medical Officer-in-charge, Dr. Ranjit Murmu, and Paramedical Workers (PMWs) from Damien Foundation, a non-governmental organization that works for leprosy control and rehabilitation.

According to Dr. Mahato, a total of 561 new leprosy patients were identified in the district this financial year, and given free Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) medicine. MDT is a combination of drugs that can cure leprosy and prevent the transmission of the bacteria. The patients were also provided with MCR (Micro Cellular Rubber) slippers and self-care kits, which can help prevent ulcers and deformities in the feet. MCR slippers are specially designed footwear that can protect the feet from injuries and infections.

Dr. Mahato said that 15 patients were cured of their disabilities through reconstructive surgery, which can restore the function and appearance of the affected limbs. He added that the district has a Secondary Level Referral Centre (SLRC), where leprosy patients can access specialized services such as surgery, physiotherapy, and counselling.

Dr. Murmu, the Medical Officer-in-charge of the Community Health Centre, urged the people to consult a doctor if they notice any patches or swellings on their skin, which could be signs of leprosy. He said that leprosy is a curable disease, and disability can be avoided if the treatment is started early. He also said that free treatment of leprosy is available in all government health centres.

The camp also included an awareness session, where the participants were given information about Disability Prevention and Medical Rehabilitation (DPMR), a strategy that aims to reduce the impact of leprosy on the quality of life of the patients and their families. PMWs Sangeeta Chaki and Duryodhan Bagti of Damien Foundation spoke about the importance of self-care, which involves regular washing, drying, and moisturizing of the skin, as well as exercises and massage to improve the blood circulation and nerve function.

The camp was attended by about 200 people, including leprosy patients, their relatives, and local residents. The organizers said that the camp was a success, and thanked the community for their cooperation and support. They also announced that the next free skin disease check-up camp will be organized at the same venue on January 11, 2024.

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