In conjunction with World Health Day, over 40 QI Malaysia staff visited patients of The National Leprosy Control Centre, also known as the “Valley of Hope” in Sungai Buloh, Selangor on 8 April 2017.
Patients whom our volunteers visited were happy to participate in the games organised for them including bowling and musical chairs. They even enjoyed performances by our volunteers who sportingly sang and danced for them. Some patients were more than happy to show off their talents too!
In addition to serving lunch to the 50 patients who came to play the games, our volunteers also packed food to be served to over 80 patients in the wards. Also in attendance was the nurse on duty, Pn. Rokiah as well as Dr. Shahidah, the doctor on duty, who thanked our volunteers for their contributions and time spent with the patients.
Our volunteers gave out goodie bags to all the patients, which included personal care and food items. Even Dr. Shahidah and Pn. Rokiah were presented with tokens of appreciation for their commitment to and care of these patients.
Before leaving the centre, our volunteers were taken on a brief tour of the Valley and the Leprosy Gallery by Dr. Shahidah.
The Sungai Buloh Settlement is the second largest leprosarium in the world. The settlement is situated 25.6km from Kuala Lumpur and was officially opened on 16 August 1930.
The settlement sits in a fertile, lush valley with panoramic scenery and has streams running through it. It is well suited for rehabilitation purposes and this became a fine place for leprosy patients to seek medical treatment. The minute a leprosy patient stepped into it, he would feel hope that one day he would be fully cured of the disease and be able to return to society. Hence why they called this place the “Valley of Hope”.
In 1969, it was officially designated as the National Leprosy Control Centre and the National Leprosy Control Programme was launched by the Ministry of Health.
As at 2011, only three leprosaria were still up and running in Malaysia. They are the Sungai Buloh Settlement (Selangor), the Tampoi Leprosarium (Johor) and the Rajah Charles Brooke Memorial Hospital (Sarawak).