Initially, much of the work at Raphael was focused on treating, housing and caring for people with leprosy and their families. Now with the advances in medicine there are very few active cases of leprosy. However, Shiv Sadan at Raphael is still home for about 40 cured leprosy residents and/or their family members. Many of them have found meaningful employment at Raphael and their children have been supported in their education through to tertiary level. As the need for services and facilities for people with leprosy reduces, more of the resources at Raphael are being utilised for people with physical and intellectual disabilities.
The objective of the TB Control Program is to assist the Uttarakhand State Government in the control, detection, diagnosis and treatment of TB. Its facilities include a 20 bed hospital (12 male; 8 female); both In-patient and Out-patient facility for the diagnosis and treatment of TB and MDR-TB; and a clinical laboratory capable of the full range of investigations for TB and MDR-TB. Patients with TB who are fit to return to their homes are provided with medication for the journey and a referral to join the local clinic where they will receive free medication. Patients requiring prolonged testing or suffering from acute tubercular infection and other conditions who are deemed unfit to travel are admitted to the hospital. The hospital treats several hundred patients per year and has a very high cure rate.
Ava Vihar and the Little White House
Raphael provides a home for students with intellectual and physical disabilities who cannot come into the centre on a daily basis. It was the aim of Sue Ryder and Leonard Cheshire that all Ryder-Cheshire Homes should be real homes for their residents, not institutions, and at Raphael this aim is very strongly followed. A number of the older students are accommodated in small group homes where independent living skills can be developed. Where possible students return to their families and communities with their new skills and are assisted to find meaningful employment within the wider community.
The special education unit provides early intervention and other specialised educational programs for children resident in Raphael and others from the surrounding community who attend as day students. This unit provides functional academics, language and communication skills. It educates students in daily living, household and domestic skills which allow students to feel they are contributing when they return home and provides vocational skills helping them to gain employment.
Community Based Rehabilitation
The Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Program involves a mobile team which travels to villages in the surrounding district to identify and provide support to children with disabilities. CBR services include physiotherapy, provision of mobility aids such as wheelchairs and ramps and consultation, training and support for parents and teachers.
These outreach programs include working with government agencies to collect, collate and share information and data. The aim is to increase awareness of people with disabilities and educate local communities, resource persons and stake-holders about their needs, thus providing the best outcomes for the individuals.
The Resource Centre
The resource centre has about 40 tertiary level students enrolled in a two year accredited Diploma in Special Education. It also provides workshops and seminars for parents and teachers of children with learning difficulties and runs specialised educational programs for children with learning difficulties.
Hostels for residents with disabilities.
Over the years, the civil administration has found it convenient to entrust Raphael with the care of people with disabilities who have nowhere else to live. Their custody makes it obligatory for Raphael to acquire legal rights of guardianship. Each resident is provided with accommodation, food, clothing, medical care and, where appropriate, occupational therapy. Where possible the residents contribute to the running of their hostels.