Community Health

Community Health


The Schefflin Institute of Health, Research & Leprosy Centre (Formerly known as Scheffelin Leprosy Research and Training Centre) at Karigiri was established on 20th June, 1955  with a 17 bedded hospital, exclusively to treat leprosy patients. Since then, this institution has continued to treat patients with leprosy and its complications, carried out state of the art research to understand the disease and trained all levels of health care personnel in Vellore district, in the prevention and management of leprosy. In 1962, a leprosy control project was started in Gudiyattam taluk, a geographically defined administrative unit in Vellore district. It comprises of 4 blocks, namely, Pernambut, Gudiyattam, K.V.Kuppam and Katpadi, an area of about 1306 Sq.kms., having approximately 950 villages and hamlets, with a population of 8,21,450 (2010 Est.). This project was constituted to focus on  the control and epidemiology of Leprosy. Along with the base hospital services, road side clinics were conducted in the target area. Upto March, 2010, 26,434 leprosy cases have been registered for treatment. Following  the vigorous intervention activities, the prevalence rate has come down from 118/10000 to 7/10000 (1997). The present prevalence stands at 0.4/10000.

After integration of leprosy in the General Health services by the State Government in 1997, the institution began to establish other health services. The epidemiology department was converted as the Community Health Department in 1998. Following this, the department reinforced the present activities and expanded its programs into other areas as well. The main thrust areas were  community based leprosy control, community prevention of impairments and disabilities (POID), Health Education, Community development and Rehabilitation, Community Organization, School Health, Training and Research.

Activities for Leprosy control:

Case detection: New cases of leprosy were detected through  school screening, contact surveys and ring surveys. Every year around 25-30 new cases are registered from  within the district and from the surrounding districts.

Follow up of new patients: Patients under treatment were followed-up by field staff, to ensure regular treatment, early detection for prevention of complications like drug reaction, neuritis, ulcer etc.

Follow up of old patients: Old patients were regularly followed up for any active signs, complications, ulcers etc. with the help of Government staff through POID camps. Self Help Groups were formed among the vulnerable group and treatment was provided to the  patients.

Data collection:  Data was collected from the patients who had completed treatment and computer updating was regularly done.

Rehabilitation: Various rehabilitation activities were carried out in the target area for the treated leprosy patients and their family members. Eligible and  interested patients were sponsored for short term vocational training courses, those without National ID cards were facilitated to obtain them, those not getting the Government pension were helped to apply for the same, toilets were constructed in needy areas, financial assistance was provided  to some patients to start small income generating programs to increase their family status and tricycles were given to patients who needed them.

General Activities:

PERIPHEREL SERVICES: Conducting general health clinics thrice a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, days at the  Gudiyattam centre. On an average, 150 patients are attending the clinic everyday.

Awareness camp: Regular health education programs on communicable and non communicable diseases and personal hygiene are organized to raise awareness on common illnesses, to encourage early reporting, compliance to treatment and reduction of stigma.

Community Medical Camps: Based on need, various medical camps are organized for treatment of  diabetes, hypertension etc. Antinatal care services are provided at the  village level. Celebrations like World Kidney day, World Diabetes day, World Women’s day, World TB day, World Leprosy day etc.  were organized at the centre and at the village level.

Working with Government: Identifying and providing treatment and drugs under RNTCP for TB patients and regular follow up of those patients.

  • Under Vazhundu Kattuvom project (VKP) the institution was identified as the Block Disability Facilitation Agency in Gudiyattam and Madhanur blocks.
  • Active involvement in Pudu Vaazhvu ( New Life) program by State  government in the Alangayam block in Vellore district as a District Resource Agency (DRA), whereby many mentally ill patients are treated (51/151) and followed up through regular monthly medical camps. Means of livelihood are strengthened through skill training.

Community Volunteers Program:  The Success of any community development program is based on the involvement of local community in the program. Effective  interventions are  achieved when the community supports the identified health needs, priorities, capacity and any barriers in action. The institution had a plan to undertake a comprehensive health and development program in the target area with active participation on community health volunteers. As a pilot project, 8 volunteers have been selected  and trained from 5 panchayats, through whom the message of health awareness is proclaimed to the general public in their respective areas. The volunteers are referring the needy patients to the hospital for treatment. This program will be expanded to the target area.

Community Health Posting: Various universities throughout the country regularly send their students  specializing in community health and development (M.Sc (N), MSW) for one month community  posting to Karigiri.

Counselling: Counselling camp for adolescents in the high schools and higher secondary schools are being conducted.

Training:   Training program on “Health Education” for a period of two months for 25-30 Non Medical Supervisors ( NMS) of Govt. departments is being conducted every year.


  1. Dr. Ilse Horo MD derm  Acting Head
  2. Mr.Raja Samuel, M.Sc.,DHS., – Sr. Programmer
  3. Mr.Santhosam, HSC., PMW – Sr. Para medical worker
  4. Mr.Augustin, M.A., – Sr. clerk gr. I
  5. Mr.Udayasurian, M.A., B.Ed., M.Phil., – Social worker Gr. I
  6. Mr.Shanthakumar, B.Com., – Clerk cum Typist
  7. Nehru, HSC., PMW., – Attender Gr. I
  8. Govindaraj, – Sr. Attender gr.II


  1. Mr. P. Samuel              SSLC., NMS                                        – Sr. Supervisor
  2. Mr.G.Munirajulu         MA.(Socio),DBA.,MA(Pub.Admin)   – Community Training Officer


  • A study on the status of smear positive multi bacillary leprosy patients treated with MDT
  • A Study on Drug Resistance to Anti leprosy drugs
  • Hand book on Diabetes
  • Leprosy case detection using schoolchildren
  • Trends in leprosy over fifty years in Gudiyattam taluk
  • Recent trends in new case detection rates in leprosy by age and sex in Gudiyattam Taluk


  • Gayathiri Award 2012-by Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation, Wardha- To Mr. P Samuel


The Head
Community Health Department
Vellore Dist, TamilNadu, India
Phone:  091-416-2274223-2274229 Ext.2240