MAITRI Leprosy Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre
MAITRI Leprosy Centre, at present the only organization running the Leprosy Eradication program in Gaya District, was authorized by the Government of Bihar to run it on its behalf in 3 provinces, covering an area of approx 800 sq miles, population 545,000.
MAITRI’s leprosy eradication program was started in 1989 and offered completely free-of-charge service to the patients.
Until January, 2002 MAITRI Leprosy Centre ran its activity on the basis of the Survey, Education, Treatment (SET) principles of the National Leprosy Eradication Program of India, whereby detecting and treating 6,500 cases.
The integration of leprosy treatment into the government health services in January, 2002 has changed MAITRI’s role to supervision/consultancy to the government services for the facilitation of the integration process.
After the registration of new cases at the government primary health centers, MAITRI’s field staff verify the diagnosis and supervise the distribution of the multi-drug therapy.
Since September, 2002 MAITRI has been entrusted by the government with the assistance to the government staff at the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and with the carrying-out of awareness activities among the population with IEC/IPC campaigns (information-education-communication / inter-personal communication) through individual and mass health education in the entire Gaya District (24 provinces).
Since February, 2003 MAITRI has assisted the government services in the whole of Gaya District (24 provinces) for the implementation of the new prevention-of-deformities (POD) program.
The main aim of the POD program is to prevent the occurrence of disabilities in high-risk patients (H/R) and the downgrading of existing Grade 1 and Grade 2 deformities in disabled patients.
POD and self-care camps are carried out at PHCs and individual contacts with patients are made in the field for H/R and disabled patients and their families.
All patients with disabilities at the lower limbs are provided special footwear (see Humanitarian Aid).
MAITRI activities are carried out by specifically trained Indian field workers.
MAITRI’s field staff are also engaged in all complementary services related to the overall care of old and new patients in Gaya District, including home visits to assist patients with certain needs or conditions.
MAITRI also runs a small Hospital for the treatment of secondary effects of the disease for patients with leprosy and a Shelter for homeless and disabled patients at its centre in Bodhgaya.
The total population under MAITRI’s care is 3,996,282 in 24 provinces (7,941 sq km).