Empowerment – Self Care Training
A chief aim of NLT is to empower those affected by leprosy to become independent again, and to re-enter society and function effectively within it, equipped with new skills, and regained dignity.
The Self-Care Training Centre at Lalgadh provides a two week residential training to equip individuals practically and
psychologically to participate in family and community life again. It is designed to reproduce everyday living and working conditions, allowing trainees to learn together how to take care of their anaesthetic hands, feet and eyes, while tackling the practical problems of everyday life, in a non-medical environment. Since it was established in the late 1990s, nearly 6000 people, all disabled by leprosy, have received the two week training. Studies to see whether this training has helped reduce the recurrence of ulcers, and the deterioration of leprosy affected limbs, has shown that it does work.
The pictures above show various exercises, with the group on the left working to strengthen leg muscles that have been weakened by leprosy, causing drop-foot. The group on the right are soaking, scraping and oiling their anaesthetic feet to keep the tissue supple and soft to avoid cracking and subsequent ulceration. Exercises like these also give opportunity to check limbs for damage. If these people can learn to prevent ulcers, they have a much better chance of being accepted by their communities.