Malaysia's health ministry announces plans to preserve leprosy center’s rich history
Disused building at Sungai Buloh
Plans announced by the Malaysian health ministry on July 20 to build an infectious disease control center in Sungai Buloh also call for turning part of the existing leprosy center there into a heritage site and tourist attraction.
Located outside Kuala Lumpur, the 500-acre plot of land owned by the ministry currently houses the Sungai Buloh hospital and leprosy center, as well as numerous landscape garden businesses, many of them operating illegally.
The leprosy center, which will remain open, dates back to 1930. It is currently home to 340 residents, the majority of whom have lived there for decades.
BBC WORLD DOCUMENTARY
The Outsiders . Leprosy in the 21st Century, a documentary in two parts, will be broadcast on BBC World on August 18 and 19 (Part 1) and August 25 and 26 (Part 2). Filmed in Brazil, Ethiopia, India and the Philippines, it focuses on the lives of people affected by leprosy as well as efforts being made to eliminate stigma and discrimination.
SURVEY OF INDIA'S COLONIES
An ongoing survey begun in 2005 to determine the number and socio-economic status of selfsettled leprosy colonies in India has so far collected data in 23 of India’s 35 states and union territories. Of 55,244 people affected by leprosy living in 630 colonies (which are also home to non-affected persons), about half make a living from begging, the survey has found.
DR. P.L. JOSHI
Dr. P.L. Joshi is the new Deputy Director-General of Health Services (Leprosy) at India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He succeeds Dr. G.P.S.
Dhillon, now in charge of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program.