A dedicated medical and health station provides holistic healthcare services and education for ageing leprosy survivors
There are currently 98 leprosy survivors residing at the Sungai Buloh Settlement in Selangor. Although they are no longer at risk of the disease, they are ageing and require care and comfort to lead healthy lives without worry and anxiety.
On Aug 6, the Care & Share Society launched the Care & Share Medical & Health Station (MHS) at the National Leprosy Control Centre (PKKN) in Sungai Buloh. Care & Share Society is an NGO run by a group of volunteers committed to preserving the history of the leprosy community.
PKKN Deputy Director Dr Radhiah Mustafar, in her opening speech, said: “I applaud the voluntary efforts of Care & Share Society in establishing this MHS.
“The settlement has a central clinic which provides regular health checks and treatment to the residents. However, as we know, many residents are Chinese and have difficulty communicating in Malay.
“Therefore, the necessary health education that involves detailed and comprehensive explanation is sometimes not well understood by residents who are not very fluent in Malay.
“PKKN expects that by offering holistic treatment and education for physical and spiritual health through programmes run by volunteers who are proficient in Chinese, MHS will provide added value and complement the services offered at the settlement’s central clinic.”
Dr Radhiah and Sungai Buloh Settlement Council President Tan Hing, accompanied by Care & Share Society President Tan Ean Nee, installed the Care & Share MHS Plaque and unveiled the MHS Activity Board to commemorate the opening ceremony.
The setting up of the MHS was also made possible through generous donors such as Tan Sri Ta Kin Yan, the late Heng Pak Nang, Eugene Lim, Reszon Diagnostics International Sdn Bhd, Aw Kah Hoe, Datin Irene Tan, John Lim, Goh Sooi Seong, the late Ong Kim Kak, Datin Jennifer Sing, Janice Chan, Tan Jit Soon, German Speaking Society Kuala Lumpur, Rinnie Lim, Tan Eng Chong and Jun Hong Canopy Services Sdn Bhd.
Needs of people prioritised
According to Tan Ean Nee, the Care & Share MHS aims to promote healthy living, indigenous culture creation and regeneration.
“Throughout the years of interaction and communication with the residents, we found that in any community mapping programme, the needs of people should be prioritised.
“The MHS will be where we will gather residents and conduct several programmes related to the holistic health of body, mind and soul.
“We firmly believe that the key to driving the community engagement project depends on the participation of the residents and hope that MHS can introduce the power of community participation.”
She said activities and community engagement projects under MHS include:
1. Advance Care Plan (ACP)
A collaboration with Kasih Hospice Foundation to offer ACP counselling services for residents in need, allowing them to pre-select themselves for the desirable various care services for their deathbed. In this way, if they are too ill to express their opinions one day, the medical staff, friends and relatives will know the most desirable way to care for them.
2. Medical talks and healthy cooking-sharing sessions
Hold medical talks from time to time to provide the residents with professional knowledge in combating various diseases of ageing, rehabilitation activities and a healthy diet. We hope the residents can live healthy lives in their old age.
3. Relax & wellness scrape therapy
It creates a comfortable environment for the residents to have a place to relieve their pain and life stress. Through the twice-a-month scraping activities, the volunteers can provide the service of scraping, stretching and foot baths to inmates to relieve body pain.
4. Sharing Tea – Sharing of Hearts Programme
The Venerable Tianwen will come to the settlement, dubbed the Valley of Hope, every Friday to have tea and chat with the residents. The residents are free to share their life stories and spiritual needs with him. We will also invite the mentors to join them to explore their spiritual needs and the resources they have around them from time to time. These needs are not just health care and therapies but also pay attention to the social and spiritual support needed.
5. The energy field of art and beauty
Holding handicraft workshops, painting classes, food tasting sessions, song creation sharing sessions, film sharing sessions, etc., will encourage residents to participate in delicate and gentle artistic actions and trigger positive energy. We look forward to this energy uniting the entire community and gradually spreading to benefit the community.
6. Community Development Program Workshop
We take the existence and awareness of the social community as the precondition and goal. Under the promotion of community building, we build up local consensus and let those societies and youth who want or are already involved in Community Development Programmes or academic fields practitioners engaged in social responsibility in colleges and universities use as their reference.
Based on the following activities and community projects, MHS aims to cater to the needs of the residents while creating more humanity, mutual aid, and respectful life of diverse values. – The Health