Health Awareness Activity

Swiss Emmaus Leprosy Relief Work India started its Heath awareness activity in 2008, the objective was to sensitize the public about Leprosy and to minimize stigma. The activity initially started by sensitizing the staff by conducting stalls at Corporates. This initiative later was extended to schools and colleges. Our Health promotion officers used to visit schools and colleges in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra and sensitize students about leprosy. They used to select students as ambassadors, and they would sensitize other students about leprosy. On one side our Health Promotion officers were doing this activity well, on the other side, the plan was to extend the services to the general public. we used the technology to spread the good news about leprosy and the theme was Leprosy is 100% curable.

We also tried to put clipping on the big screen in theatres, but this was costly. Hence, we thought of using the telecom industry. This was tested in Delhi but was not very effective. We decided to test the same in Chennai and started with a small team. Pitch was written in Tamil with the help of program officers and our project partners. During the year 2013, we started the Heath Awareness activity in Chennai and the focus was Chennai city later on this was extended to Chengalpattu and Kanchipuram.

The objective was to call a person on their mobile and then, take his consent and then sensitize the person about Leprosy, during the later part of the pitch, we also speak a few words about the organization and the request for a voluntary contribution to support the general care of people affected by Leprosy. Annually, we sensitize more than 32 Lakh people from TamilNadu, Maharastra and Karnataka. We also used to send bulk SMS to the public as a part of this activity, It is our ambition to cover pan India with this Activity.


Tertiary Care Leprosy Services

SEI supports the tertiary care services of 5 hospitals across 5 districts in 3 states namely Andhra Pradesh (3 hospitals), Karnataka (1 hospital), Tamil Nadu (1 Hospital).The details of the 5 projects are provided below:

Emmaus Swiss Leprosy Hospital Project, Palamaner, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh

GRETNALTES Hospital, Morumpodi, Tenali, Andhra Pradesh

Hubli Hospital for the Handicapped, Hubli, Karnataka

Rural India Self-development Trust (RISDT), Kathipudi, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh

Sacred Heart Leprosy Hospital, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu

All the 5 hospitals supported by SEI is Government recognized tertiary care leprosy hospitals where reconstructive surgeries are undertaken, reaction management & disability care services are provided. All the services provide both in-patient and out-patient services are provided.

Field Based Work

Community centric projects: SEI supported projects are people centric and community led initiatives aimed to facilitate the access of services for the people, capacity building for health care staffs & communities; which leads to empowering the communities. The field-based POID projects initiate the practice of self-care by forming self-care groups, people share their experiences, find solutions to their issues collectively and support the health care staffs in timely prevention of disability along with the supply of consumables such as self-care kits, disability certificates, and other schemes offered by the Government of India (GoI).

Prevention of Impairment and Disability Projects

POID projects germinated from a decade long implementation of disability prevention and medical education in leprosy (DISPEL). The POID project focusses on early detection, treatment, referral, and disability management of people. It focusses on the community and empowers it to take decisions regarding their health and well-being. The project collaborates district health systems to ensure that services are available close to the residence of the person. Currently, the POID project is being implemented across 3 districts in 2 states (Andhra Pradesh & Maharashtra) in collaboration with Maharashtra state leprosy society and ALERT India.

SEI's POID project is a flagship project, which received the "Young Scientist' award at the International Leprosy Congress (ILC) at Brussels in 2013.

Children's Education

3 of the SEI supported hospitals have schools attached to promote education of children with leprosy or born to parents with leprosy. Due to their experience of stigma children are often ostracized and become natural casualty of school dropouts.In order to avoid such experiences and also to ensure that the child does experience any break in their education, SEI supports education of children in our supported schools. These schools are open to the general public and promotes integration and mainstreaming of children. Each of the school have close to 1,500 children enrolled currently.