Despite progress leprosy still a threat
Despite progress leprosy still a threat

At this government care centre in Mumbai, leprosy patients double up as doctors and ward boys.

Due to a shortage of staff at the Acworth Municipal Hospital, the patients engaged themselves into cleaning and dressing each other's wounds. Some of the patients also play the role of ward boys by mopping the floors clean.

Hariya Sawant, one of the patients at the centre told NDTV that the patients help each other by bandaging each other's wounds since the doctors at the centre do not do it.

With the staff strength of just four doctors and one ward boy, about 100 patients at in the Acworth Municipal Hospital are left with no choice but to clean the wounds of each other and mop and sweep the hospital floors.

Interestingly, the leprosy care centre is run with a huge budget of over Rs. 30, 000 crore by Asia's richest civic body, Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

When questions were raised about the sorry state of the hospital, BMC tried to cover up the matter by passing it from one court to another.

When confronted, additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh told the channel to raise the questions to the health officer and not them. The health officer, however, seemed unaware about the state of the hospital and said that he will have to find out the details from his doctors.

Over 65% care for leprosy patients is provided by NGOs in Mumbai whereas only 35% rests with the BMC and the state government. Yet, the care centre, which is a home to 10% of the city's leprosy patients, is struggling at the task.