Our OPD was built and inaugurated on Feb 2004 with tin sheet on the roof. Mr. Christopher Von Toggenburg (Bike for Help) from Switzerland helped us graciously in building the Out Patient Block.
Renovation : The OPD was renovated in March 2011 with a concrete roof by the help of 'A BETTER WORLD', Canada.
Working Days : The special leprosy OPD is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But patients coming for treatment on any day are seen, and not turned back.
Departments / Services : The OPD consists of Consultation Room, Casualty, Dressing Room, X-ray Unit, Physiotherapy Unit, Dental Unit, Eye Screening Unit, Medical Records Room, Pharmacy and Laboratory. In the Medical Records Room, we have more than 6600 leprosy patient's charts kept permanently.
Types of cases : 75% of cases are skin cases including leprosy. The remaining 25% cases are general cases like DM with ulcer, Hypertension, Arthritis etc..
Never is a patient sent back, or left untreated because they can't afford the treatment.
Leprosy affliction among men and women is in the ratio of 2:1. If the plight of the leprosy patient in general is pathetic, that of the female leprosy patient is tragic. When a husband is affected by leprosy, the typical Indian wife (Bharata-Nari) sticks to him until death doeth them apart. But if a wife is affected by leprosy, the husband very often deserts his wife and re-marries.
The very success of this institution lies with our staff. Our staffs have dedicated their lives for our institution. Though the salaries here are much lower compared to any other establishments, they work earnestly as a team without any complaints. Medical ethics and ideologies are part of their daily routine.
Women affected by leprosy are often deserted by their husbands and left to deal with the twin spectors of poverty and illness. The women are responsible not only for seeking treatment for themselves, but also for providing for their children as a single parent. The medical officer was faced with a dilemma when a lady affected with leprosy and needing urgent admission refused to get admitted sighting her six children as the cause. Her admission into the hospital would render her six children guardian - less since she had been deserted by the rest of her family. Thus was born the plan for the home for healthy children, where the children would not only be housed, but clothed, nourished and educated in a normal school.
Most of the children of our home have been forsaken by their own healthy father. Some of them are children of parents who are too disabled and left with no choice but to beg.
All children attend the ‘normal’ schools, in the nearby villages. After Std X or Plus Two of schooling they are sent to technical schools (ITIs) where they are given job-oriented technical training and later helped to secure jobs leading to productive lives, "Thanks to the ‘THE LEPROSY MISSION’, and its Vocational Rehabilitation Centre at Vadathorasalur. The ideology of “Today’s children – Tomorrow’s citizen" is strictly adhered to here.
Educating a present generation in the family tree of the patient paid rich dividends by promoting the socio economic status of the said family to a new earning level and genarate the much needed self respect and confidence in the society. We also provide sponsorship to children studying from their home-town, staying with their parents. Children are also helped in their higher education with scholarships.
Even after cure, the ill-informed society continues to ostracize the ex-leprosy subjects, denying them equal employment opportunities. These unfortunate victims have only one option, begging!, A tragedy as bad as the disease itself. St.Luke's extends its services even beyond the hospital. The rejected are employed in the Agro - Farm attached to the Leprosarium, or in the hospital itself as ward helpers / volunteers etc. Training in various vocations, suiting the patient and his background are integrated into the routine so that the patients, facing the world afresh can lead their lives on their own, with dignity. In the farming sector, training is given in agriculture, goat-rearing, EMU farming, gardening and piggery. Those interested are initiated into modern trends in cultivation such as drip-irrigation, concrete farming, cross cropping etc..
Other vocations are tailoring, basket making, mat weaving, candle making and shoe-making.
After cure, many patients don't have anything to go back to. St.Luke's gives them training in scientific goat-farming. After the in house trainning with the Jamuna Pari goats, they are sent home with a few goats given free (returnable in kind later when the animal breeds). By rearing the high-breed varieties, they manage to earn a tidy sum.
Our Leprosarium has recently established Emu farming. Emu farming is a new scheme. These are all maintained by our cured leprosy patient. Once equipped with skill to take care of these birds, patients find it easier getting employment in similar farms outside.
A cautious beginning has been made in pig-farming using Yorkshire pigs. In pig-farming, the principal item of expenditure is the feeding cost. The food comes free from the kitchen as kitchen-waste, and from the left-over food.
Candle making is also taught to the patients. A cured leprosy subject, is a master of this art of candle making. Donors and well-wishers during their visit to St. Luke's Leprosarium, buy these beautiful candles.
Many patients, especially women are taught this art. These bags are sold and the income is directly given to patients enabling them to buy more raw materials and the cycle continues.
There are Palm-Tree leaf baskets also made by our patients. A cured leprosy subject is a master of making these baskets. Baskets are sold at various functions and are also made on demand in various sizes and shapes.
St.Luke's helps the children of leprosy patients or cured leprosy subjects by gifting Sewing Machine to increase their earning capacity. They can lead a normal life in the society.
Our kitchen building was gifted by The Leprosy Mission in 1993. It has a gas connection for cooking. Thanks to The Isaac family charitable fund (IFCF), USA. There is a cement path way constructed from the kitchen to the men's ward for carrying food. Thanks to The Tamil Christian Congregation, of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, Singapore. Food trolley is used for carrying food. Thanks to IFCF for this gift. Recently bio-gas plants were installed in the campus with the connections extending into the kitchen.
Volunteer Training : St.Luke's gives One Day Volunteer Training to various volunteers. Any person, who wants to participate in this programme, comes to Peikulam. First the scientific facts about leprosy are taught. After that all the hospital activities are shown. Then hospital write – ups and fund raising cards are given. Finally, a Volunteer Training Participation Certificate is given to the person. This training is completely free. After the training, when this person goes back, he spends one hour per day or one day per week at his respective place. He shares about our leprosarium to his friends, relatives, collegemates, etc..
This helps the well wishers to come to our leprosarium and learn about our leprosy relief activities. Overall, this volunteer acts as a good ambassador of our leprosarium.
Leprosy Orientation Programme : St.Luke's gives leprosy orientation programme to overseas students. Pre medical students or medical students visit our leprosarium to learn about leprosy. We give information about scientific facts of leprosy, patient care, health education and rehabilitation. We have two air–conditioned guest houses for the students.