After taking one day to adjust our own personal time clocks, we headed out the next morning to the Sivananda Rehabilitation Home (SRH). As to not short change SRH, I will take a quote directly from their website, “initially planned to be a small asylum for the destitute suffering from leprosy, soon expanded into a centre of excellence for the care and treatment of leprosy patients. Today, SRH has grown into a large well-known institute dedicated to the treatment, care and rehabilitation of patients suffering from leprosy and tuberculosis (TB). SRH also runs an old age home for elderly women.”
My general thoughts on SRH: A fine-tuned, robust and self-sustaining organization that runs on the backs of a small group of highly effective leaders who are passionate about the patients they serve. From the chief administrator who leads with a strong will and a kind heart to the chief physiotherapist whose passion and drive for the job create the backbone for its success, SRH is currently in great hands. Furthermore, the scope of the work that they do is remarkable! SRH provides a myriad of services: Leprosy treatment (both medically and surgically), Post-surgical Physiotherapy, and basic housing for their more permanent residents.
(Dr. James waiting for some Chai!)
Another interesting aspect of this organization is how they train many of their residents to work, either as cobblers, weavers, or even mechanics – building bicycle rickshaws, in hopes of creating an environment of self-sustenance. In addition to all these exposures, we were able to scrub in on a fascinating procedure! Dr. Ananth Reddy, chief administrator, allowed us observe a hand surgery. Not only was the procedure quite interesting (a very basic explanation: he diverted one large tendon from one finger and utilized it for the four other fingers so that the median/ulnar motor function was somewhat restored), he took the time to explain the details of the procedure to us while performing it! This feature of Sivananda is especially remarkable because they are providing a service to patients who would otherwise never recover motor function.
I thought I would end this post with some data about Leprosy in India: (WHO, 2012)
Now for some photos from our trip to Sivananda Rehab Home…Enjoy =).