Posts Tagged ‘care’

I was in India in 2009 and once I got there I promised to myself to see what I always have been watching or listening about leprosy in India. Then I decided to visit Premananda Memorial Leprosy Hospital in Kolkata which specialized in leprosy and the experience was the strongest in all my trip.

Leprosy is a disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. This bacterium affects the body’s nervous system, concentrating on the cooler parts of the body. Affected areas are skin, eyes, and muscles in the hands and feet. There are two different initial reactions to the disease; some people develop clearly defined pale skin patches indicating the bacterium is isolated in one area. In more extreme cases where the patient has no resistance to the disease, there is very little definition between the patches and the healthy skin. With this type of case, it is much more difficult to detect the disease in its early stages.

As the disease progresses, the symptoms only get worse: numbness in hands and feet make the patient vulnerable to cuts and infections that can’t be felt, stiffened muscles cause clawed hands, loss of the blinking reflex leads to total blindness, and in some cases amputation of fingers, an arm or leg is necessary.
Leprosy is thought to be infectious, transmitted through airborne droplets, such as when someone sneezes or coughs. But most people – about 95% of the population – are naturally immune. Yet there are over 1,100 new cases detected every day.
People who contract leprosy are affected both physically and socially. This disease has been around since Biblical times and the myths, fear and stigma surrounding it still remain strong. From small children to older adults, people with leprosy are ostracized, shamed and forced out of their communities and homes. The person with the disease is usually so humiliated and frightened they go into hiding, failing to get treatment as the disease worsens.

Over the last 20 years, TLMC (The Leprosy Mission Canada) has been working to decrease the prevalence of leprosy in Kolkata, India through providing care at Premananda Memorial Leprosy Hospital. This community based hospital cares for leprosy complications, deformity prevention and surgical correction of deformation. It is the only hospital in Kolkata that focuses on the prevention and correction of deformity and rehabilitation of leprosy patients.
While much has been done, many major challenges still exist. A large number of patients have deformities and disabilities. Many of these patients simply cannot afford investigations and treatment elsewhere for associated illnesses such as severe anemia, tuberculosis and diabetes. Many are uneducated and live in poor conditions in communities that still impose stigma against those with leprosy.

The Leprosy Mission helps leprosy patients find solutions to physical problems faced because of their disease. By providing out-patient services in dermatology, ophthalmology and surgery, more patients will receive help for their physical ailments.

In addition to providing treatment, the Leprosy Mission is also focusing on increasing awareness and knowledge of leprosy in the medical community. A team of professionals with a greater depth of knowledge in the field of leprosy will allow for better care for those affected by leprosy.
The Premananda Memorial Leprosy Hospital is providing an essential service to those in Kolkata with leprosy. It is our hope that men and women with leprosy can receive the care they need to look to the future with optimism.

Keepers at ZSL London Zoo

London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on April 27, 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. It was eventually opened to the public in 1847. Today it houses a collection of 755 species of animals, with 15,104 individuals, from the smallest monkey to the tall giraffe, making it one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom. It is managed under the aegis of the Zoological Society of London, ZSL (established in 1826), and is situated at the northern edge of Regent’s Park.
ZSL, as international conservation organization have more than four hundred people working behind the scenes leading the world of animal care, research and conservation in more than 30 countries around the world in projects to protect animals in their natural habitat.
The role of a zoo keeper is one of the most popular jobs involving animals. They have responsibility both to the animals and to the general public. Keepers provide daily care for a zoo’s animals. Their routine involves cleaning enclosures, preparing food, providing fresh water and clean bedding and ensuring that animal enclosures are kept at the appropriate temperature and humidity. They also keep records on health, diet and the behaviour of the animals in their care and assist the vet when either preventive or curative treatment is needed.
Keepers also require good communication skills to be able to impart their enthusiasm, commitment and knowledge to the visitors. Keepers are an essential part of public education programmes, giving talks and participating and organizing events and activities for school groups and other interested parties. At ZSL London Zoo they are about 50 keepers. The zoo is open to visitors for few hours each day, but the animals are there 24 hours a day all year. The keepers need to be present all the time and some of them live at the zoo. The day starts early at 8am when a keeper’s first task is to check that all the animals are well. The work is hard, and they work long hours and regular weekends.
Keepers are usually recruited initially for the summer season only (Easter-September). The best of these temporary keepers may be retained for permanent employment. After completing a six-month probationary period, new keepers begin a two-year flexible learning course leading to the City & Guilds Advanced National Certificate in the Management of Zoo Animals. This involves studying nutrition, enclosure design, hygiene and safety, breeding, transporting animals, diseases and the role of zoos in conservation, education and research.
ZSl London Zoo offer the “Keeper for a Day” experience which gives  to people an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of ZSL’s most popular animals, for one day and also offers a unique insight into the day-to-day life of zoo keepers and their charges. Budding keepers can try their hand at tasks such as preparing food for animals, feeding the giraffes and the monkies, cleaning the penguin pool and going behind the scenes at the big cats. People have to pay a lot money for this experience,
£ 270,00 for the full day and £ 170,00 for half day.

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