Since 1983, RISDT has been working for the well-being of the most marginalized and neglected sections of the Indian society – Persons affected by Leprosy (PAL). In the last 30 years, the Trust has been an implementing partner of the National Leprosy Eradication Program (NLEP) in the MDT.

RISDT also implemented DISPEL (Disabilities Prevention in Leprosy Patients) program which is supported by the Emmaus Swiss (now FAIRMED) which resulted in the treatment and rehabilitation of around 30,000 leprosy patients bringing down the East Godavari district prevalence rate from 70.08/10,000 population in 1987 to 0.9/10,000 population . In 1993, a 60-bed hospital for leprosy patients has been established which provides out-patient medical care, in-patient deformity management and reconstructive surgeries.

FAIRMED supported POID Program: In 2010, FAIRMED in collaboration with Government of Andhra Pradesh has initiated an innovative pilot in East Godavari along with Guntur district - Prevention of Impairments and Disabilities among Persons affected by Leprosy (POID).  The program aims to

  1. Ensure, the Public Health System responds to the needs of PAL to prevent impairments and deformities;
  2. Self-care among PAL to prevent impairment and deformities is reinforced;
  3. Access is provided for immobile and needy PAL; and
  4. The community participation in POID is improved.

Till December 2012, RISDT through the program has worked with the public health system to train Government personnel on POID. The program in the last two years has provided services to over 4,000 PAL in East Godavari. These services include early detection and prevention of disabilities through training in self-care (trained 27,000 PAL in self-care); treated 2.684 persons with ulcers; 716 underwent reconstructive surgeries; 6,325 received MCR footwear; extended physiotherapy services to 11,734 PAL;  and an in-patient and hospitalisation care through the 65-bedded hospital at Kathipudi in Sankavaram Mandal. RISDT has also linked these patients to various government social security schemes like pensions (6,114) and food security - Antodaya PDS (4,082).


TB Control Unit under RNTCP: Since 2005, RISDT with the support of RNTCP has been part of the District Technical Support Team, which is responsible for working with health functionaries at the PHC level for active case finding. So far, around 6,000 persons have availed TB treatment from the RISDT Treatment Unit located at Kathipudi.

HIV program: In 2008, RISDT further expanded its work to provide services to HIV affected population in the district with a 10-beded care and treatment centre, which provides services to over 4,000 HIV positive persons. The centre which is now expanded as Emmaus Care Center (ECC) provides HIV diagnostic, treatment including surgeries and care services to HIV infected adults, pregnant women and children. RISDT is also supported by Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS) to run the mobile HIV testing services (Mobile ICTC) across East Godavari district. APSACS also supports an ICTC at the Kathipudi campus. RISDT also implemented (2009-2012) a comprehensive HIV program covering over 1,500 children and their families in 16 mandals of the Amalapuram division.

General Hospital: To cater to the general health needs of rural population, RISDT started a 40-bedded hospital in Kathipudi which provides diagnostic, treatment and surgery services. Popularly known as the “Referral Hospital” in the district, the hospital since its inception in the year 2000, has provides services to around 25,000 patients per year at a subsidized cost.

English Medium School: RISDT started a school to provide quality education to over 1,100 children. The school caters to over 300 villages in eight mandals, fulfilling the aspirations of the rural population for quality English medium education. Children of PAL and HIV affected persons are provided free education in the school.