Monday, 25 January 2010

PKKN 1930

Pusat Kawalan Kusta Negara (PKKN)
National Leprosy Control Centre

I'm putting some photos first cos my notes on PKKN are at home. I misplaced the PKKN photos and found them today, so I'm hosting them here before I lose them again. I will update re the interview held at PKKN on 6 July 2007 with then Director, Dr Virmal Singh.

Photos taken on 6 July 2007:
Main entrance to PKKN.
Staff parking nearest entrance.
Parking near the main office (turn left at the entrance).

Interview with En Abdul Majid at the Research Unit (Makmal Penyelidikan):
Novartis MDT-Combi for adult leprosy sufferers (donated by WHO).
En Abdul Majid (PKKN) and Tuan Haji Affandi (HUSM).
The chaulmoogra tree? The chestnut-like fruit is used for its oil which is mixed with Chinese herbs as an ancient topical treatment for leprosy.
Hospital Sungai Buloh viewed from PKKN.

Lepers were housed at many places throughout British Malaya including Setapak Camp where Dr Travers was director till he retired in 1925 and returned to Great Britain. Setapak Camp became overcrowded and a new site 12 miles north of Kuala Lumpur was gazetted for leper resettlement. This was Sungei Buloh Settlement (Sungei Buloh however had another name which the locals used).

Sungei Buloh Settlement was constructed beginning 1926 and operated in 1930 (5 years after Dr Travers retired at Setapak Camp). The administration at Sungei Buloh was initially managed by British doctors and nurses. The lepers were mostly Indians and Chinese, with a few Malays. For eleven years (1930 to 1941), Sungei Buloh Settlement had never had a Malay doctor in-charge of administration but confined to other jobs including at the Research Unit (Makmal Penyelidikan).

Having worked many places before, an experienced and skillful Dr Che' Lah was transferred from the District Hospital Klang to the Sungei Buloh Settlement where he served as MO on 25 June 1941.

On 8 December 1941, 5 months after Dr Che Lah joined Sungei Buloh Settlement, 
the Japanese attacked Malaya. Soon Malaya fell to the Japanese. The British doctors and nurses at Sungei Buloh Settlement were all inturned in Singapore.  

There were no British doctors to serve the Settlement. Dr Che' Lah was the only Malay doctor who had more than 2 years work experience with leprosy. The Japanese administration then appointed Dr Che' Lah as the Medical Superintendent of the Sungei Buloh Settlement on Christmas 1943. Dr Che' Lah served the Japanese administration for almost 2 years till the war was over in September 1945.