SILRA – Singapore Leprosy relief association

Many people are under the impression that Leprosy does not exist anymore. Unfortunately Leprosy is still a disease present nowadays. Even though over the past fifty years considerable progress was made in understanding and treating the disease, every year 30 new cases are documented in Singapore alone. 30 cases that don’t get any attention. People that are being excluded from society. Members of our society who are mostly being disowned by their family. These are people who have nowhere to go.

Thankfully these days through timely diagnosis and treatment no more cases of deformity are seen. Leprosy is a mildly infectious disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium Leprae. The disease mainly affects the skin and peripheral nerves. It has been known since ancient times and fears and myths surrounding the disease have persisted to the present time.

But there are still some patients that have been put out on the street by their family. People who have lost  the use of limbs and cannot make their own living anymore. Instead of ending up on the street, they have found a home at the Singapore Leprosy Relief Association (SILRA). The patient’s stories are heart wrenching: patients who years ago as youngsters were literally abandoned by their families. Few people want to admit they have a family member with leprosy and prefer to tell everyone they are only friends with the patient.

SILRA

SILRA – Looking after the welfare of leprosy survivors

Established in 1951 to help look into the welfare of leprosy sufferers, the SILRA Home provides food, lodging, recreation and healthcare services for ex-leprosy patients. It also teaches the patients some handicraft skills and rehabilitative work. Eligibility criteria are ex-leprosy sufferers who are destitute. SILRA doesn’t make a difference in religion, cultural background or age. They ensure that the (ex-leprosy) patients have the basic need of life and provide conductive programs to ensure that they live their lives to the fullest. In this SILRA promotes, helps, assists and co-ordinates or relief of persons suffering from this terrible decease. In short, SILRA brings hope, love and cheer to their residents.

You can help dignify the lives of the residents of SILRA by donating for their healthcare. If you’d like to volunteer, you can join NCA here to support this charity.  For more information, visit their website.