Reflecting back on our activities gives us immense pleasure of what transpired during an eventful year for the program and our well-wishers. Challenges, which by now are well known and part of our programs’ vocabulary were met with steadfastness by our staff, and why not, they have been bread in an environment where dire situations are converted into opportunities to provide services to the un-served.
A lot has happened for the programs’ core activities of Leprosy/Tuberculosis and Blindness control. The access through these three major interventions into the marginalized communities time and again convinces us that there is much work at hand. There is a world existing as a non-entity right in front of us and we don’t see it. There is suffering in our midst that we could lessen with a little bit of care and love, why it should go unnoticed is beyond our comprehension.
From statistical point of view we can say that it was a good year, as leprosy continues to show a decline, we got enough Tuberculosis patients and contributed towards preventing blindness. This is not what we are aiming at, behind each treated patient is a life, a family, a community that we are dealing with and they need our support and this is our resolve, to provide service that makes a difference in the lives of people.
Our slogan “From Leprosy to community development, our journey is on”. It is not just a slogan; it is a cause that we stand committed to.
The strategy of integrating leprosy control activities into the general health, which is the only way of ensuring that leprosy work goes on, is under implementation phase. Like every new approach it needs to be put under trial and constant reviews required, which we are doing. This is not a one sided approach, we have to see how receptive the environment is, including our main stakeholders, the respective provincial health departments. There is still, besides the 400-450 new leprosy cases that we will be finding, the ongoing battle for achieving leprosy elimination. The activities for achieving leprosy elimination include concerted efforts from all direction to identify and treat new cases, awareness, prevention and treatment of deformities and interventions needed in their rehabilitation.
MALC has also been actively involved in providing relief and rehabilitating the victims of natural and man made disasters, with the support of our local and international partners. During the recent floods MALC provided emergency relief to more than 450,000 people in the form of food, shelter, utensils and medical assistance including medical camps. After completion of the relief phase, MALC also launched reconstruction and rehabilitation project from January 2011 which is progressing well. The project has achieved most of its objectives like; construction of 686 housing units, lives stock including cows and goats to 237 families, economical assistance to 134 families, agricultural support to 385 families and installation of 72 hand-pumps and tube-wells in affected villages. This project is being funded with the support of GLRA/DAHW Germany, Caritas St. Pölten, Caritas Austria, Maria Laach Germany and Missio Austria, our time tested friends since decades.
The future vision of the MALC is to incorporate the strength of the program into a new initiative of Community Development envisaging Primary Education, Mother and Child Health, Disability Services, CBR (community based rehabilitation), Water and Sanitation being some of the priorities for the ensuing years.
The success of the program could not be possible without the continued support of our International and Corporate partners, Individuals and Institutions who remained committed and generously contributed towards MALC’s cause. I take this opportunity to thank all of them.
Finally, I acknowledge the support of our board members and the consultant, and commitment of the entire Management and Staff, especially those who delivered services in far flung areas in extremely challenging conditions.
Together we can make a difference in the lives of people who are out there waiting for a helping hand for a better tomorrow.