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Empowerment of Hansen’s disease patients

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Sejan bem-vindos!

The Hansen's disease still has a strong impact on Brazil. Just in 2015, Brazil reported 26,395 new cases, accounting for 13% of all cases in the world. Of these, 7.6% were under the age of 15, and 6.63% cases presented impairment grade 2.


As part of the efforts to combat leprosy, NHR - Brazil works in the promotion of early detection of the disease, providing comprehensive treatment and the prevention of disabilities in the patients. The NGO also operates in the elimination of barriers that limit the social participation of people with the Hansen’s disease.


Self-care groups in Pernambuco

With the support of NHR-Brazil, the University of Pernambuco has been focusing on the strengthening of healthcare activities, which can be performed at home, for people that are affected with Hansen’s disease. This has been done through the generation of 8 self-care groups, with an average of 15 patients attending the meetings permanently. During this week, we were invited to participate in one of the monthly meetings of the self-care groups of patients with Hansen's disease at the Hospital Clementino Fraga, which was built three years ago. The nurses Edna and Roseli, coordinate the team and they work for the empowerment of patients and health promotion. Also two nursing students from the University of Pernambuco, Jaizyara, and Alin, support the team.

Objects provided to the patients with the economic support of the NHR-Brazil.


Moisturizers and foot-immersion containers

Three patient’s contacts and 18 patients are integrating the self-care group. Even when many patients present physical impairments that reduce their movement, they participated actively in a foot care activity. The patients and nurses demonstrated good practices of self-care. The importance of this activity was emphasized for patients with Hansen's disease in order to prevent fissures caused by dryness and complications due to these wounds. Additionally, thanks to the support provided by the NHR, moisturizers and foot-immersion containers were provided to enable the patients to perform this activity at home, which is very useful for them due to the limited economic resources that some of them have.


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The choir

This self-care group also has an additional activity: the chorus (see first photo). The sister of one of the patients with Hansen's disease directs the chorus. She, despite her 85 years makes a big effort to help the patients to perform a different activity. In many cases the choir gives presentations to the community. Their next presentation will be in the “X Seminar of education for Hansen's disease in Pernambuco” where they will share their strength and joy while they delight the public with songs from the Northeastern of Brazil.


Thank you ‘Grupo Saúde - Policlínica Clementino Fraga’ for allowing us to be part of this meeting. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the kindness and warmth always identify the Brazilian culture, and you are a reflection of it!



Blog geschreven door Rossana,

Brazilië, 9 mei 2017





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