Staff and Patients at Naini's Leprosy Mission Hospital

Putting plaster on a patient's hand. Arresting leprosy is not difficult and needs nothing more than a couple of attendances at a clinic. But the damage left by the cured disease often needs reconstruction of the effected areas including the resetting of distorted fingers as in the picture above The last page Go to another page., introduced the Leprosy Mission Hospital Go to another site. in Naini near Allahabad. This page shows some images of the staff and patients in that hospital during the mid 1990s. The tension on the faces of the patients is often marked. Leprosy has always been difficult to contract, there is zero chance of infection being on the wards or working with patients if the simplest hygiene is observed. Physio removing plaster from fingers. Jacob removing the plaster casts from a young man's fingers. Leprosy does not discriminate between old or young, rich or poor Jacob and I. Jacob, a young physiotherapist at the time, was a typical example of the large numbers of Tamils who go to find work in the challenging climate of northern India. The advent of antibiotics has meant that the physical advances of the leprosy bacteria are easily arrested. But it is an outstanding example of a social disease. It is a disgrace in many societies to admit to having leprosy, so it is not talked about or understood and this lets the bacteria flourish, and possible symptoms go unreported. As a result the disease spreads and gains a hold on new people. The colour quality in some of these older slides, exposed to the Indian heat in their youth, is not too good; my apologies, I am not blaming screens this time. Putting plaster on a woman's fingers. And here he is applying plaster to a woman's hand to help the fingers resume their proper position Examining a patient's hand. A man's hand is being inspected to see what movements are retained The physiotherapy department staff. The staff of the physiotherapy department Patient with arm plaster cast. A school teacher has had his arm in a cast and the physiotherapist checks out the graffiti it has attracted Teacher with cast and three other eyes. The teacher rests from introducing me to Hindi to look at the camera - with considerable tension The men from one ward. From the left: Kamleshwar, Mishra, Moti, Badna, Jiyalal, Ramakant, Dev, Nukhai, Crulab, (with the boy) Vijay in front. The physiotherapist on the left is Jacob Chelliah.
The men from one ward assembled for this group photo, and for their individual photos to be taken. Sadly I later learnt that none of the pictures (that I had sent to them all) had arrived. If anyone seeing this can help get these images, which I still have, to any of these people, please contact me.
The ward had rich and poor, old and young, high status and lower status individuals.
A lack of understanding lets any of us catch leprosy
Patient with foot damage. This man has had leprosy in his foot. It is inspected in the comfortable shade of a courtyard tree - shown on the last page. The wound is typical... Physio inspecting the man's foot. ...because he had no feeling on the sole of his foot an abscess has been allowed to form... The damage to the foot. ...and result in loss of tissue, without his knowing about it - he cannot feel this at all Women exercising their hands. These patients are trying to get the effected areas of muscle working again by exercise and rubbing. Men exercising their hands. Women and men sit apart in the same room as this is an area of India with many followers of Islam Cooks making the meal. And the kitchen staff who provided excellent simple meals on a minuscule budget, with a constant show of light heartedness in the face of considerable pain, tension and social isolation. Too many people still regard those with leprosy as somehow unclean and that the sufferers' condition is transmittable The next page takes you out into the town of Naini where the Leprosy Mission Hospital is situated. Spices at shop entrance. line
Saturday 17th March 2018 Murphy on duty

Go to the Picture Posting contents page Return to the top