In a new initiative, the BMC will financially assist leprosy patients with deformities by providing Rs 1,000 per month. Around 240 patients in the city will benefit by the scheme, which will be presented to the standing committee of the civic body Wednesday.
The administration will constitute a committee in the civic-owned Acworth Leprosy Hospital in Wadala, which will be headed by the Health officer, to identify people who are eligible for the scheme.
“This scheme extends to people suffering from more than 40 per cent deformities. Therefore, the committee will examine the patients and also relevant documents provided by them to make sure that the benefit reaches the right patients in the city,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, deputy executive health officer, public health department.
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As per a letter by the Municipal Commissioner, patients eligible for the scheme must be above 18 years of age and must also provide documents like ration card, election card or electricity bills to prove that they are residents of Mumbai .
“Once the patients are registered for the scheme and start getting benefits, they will only be expected to come to the hospital in Wadala every November and record their presence,” said another civic official from the BMC.In the 2014-15 budget, the civic body had set aside close to Rs 50 lakh for the financial assistance of people disabled by leprosy. “Patients suffering from leprosy often face a social stigma and may not be able to overcome it soon. With this initiative, we are taking a very small step to financially help the patients in the city,” the civic official said. Caused by Mycobacterium Leprae, Leprosy is characterised by long incubation periodsfollowed by skin sores, nerve damage and muscle weakness.