Engr. Naeem-ur-Rehman Akhoond, SGM (MS) inaugurated the Mirpurkhas Chapter of Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC) on November 30, 2006 established with the support of SSGC as part of its CSR initiative.
Dr. Ashfaq Ali Khan, CEO, MALC and former Federal Advisor on Leprosy to the Government of Pakistan was also present at the inauguration ceremony. The inauguration comes nearly eleven months after an agreement in this regard was signed by Munawar Baseer Ahmad, MD, SSGC and Dr. Ashfaq in January 2006 whereby MALC with the support of SSGC would be setting up Triple Merger Centres (TMC) in Mirpurkhas and Pishin districts where Leprosy, Tuberculosis and Blindness patients will be treated and steps would be undertaken to successfully marginalize these diseases through awareness, follow-up of defaulters and community empowerment. According to the agreement, all the financial expenses of medicines, equipments, operations and laboratory facilities would be borne by SSGC.
On the occasion, SGM (MS) expressed SSGC's resolve to support MALC in its National Leprosy, TB and Blindness Control Programme. He said that besides transmission and distribution of gas to its franchise areas of Sindh and Balochistan, SSGC has an abiding commitment to work for the collective benefit of the communities it serves. In this regard, he said, SSGC has taken a number of initiatives in three primary focus areas of health, education and environment. In his address, CEO MALC thanked SSGC for its continued support in establishing the TMC in Mirpurkhas and expressed his organization's resolve to soon set up the Pishin Centre. On the occasion, SGM (MS) also presented a cheque of Rs.0.8 million to Dr. Ashfaq Khan for running the operations of the Mirpurkhas Centre. SSGC has already allocated a total of Rs. 1.75 million per annum for helping MALC set up and run the TMCs in Mirpurkhas and Pishin.
MALC came into being in a wooden shed in a leper ghetto in Karachi in 1956. It was the brain child of the great German social worker, Dr. Ruth Pfau, who was travelling to India when she stopped over in Pakistan and after seeing the sad state of lepers here decided to stay in Karachi and worked on setting up a modern hospital for the purpose. Nearly thirty years later, in 1996, MALC had controlled leprosy in Pakistan to less than 1/10000 population, which fulfils the WHO criteria for Leprosy Control in the country.