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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

‘IDENTIFY STRENGTHS, ENHANCE RESILIENCE’

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Dr. Yamaguchi: Everyone has his or her strengths.

When faced with disease, disaster or any other trauma, human beings suffer; but they can adapt. Humans are equipped with resilience, and enhancing the resilience of people affected by leprosy is one of the important roles of nurses.

People affected by leprosy are considered to be vulnerable members of society; however, if you perceive a person as vulnerable, you cannot improve their resilience.

Everyone has his or her strengths. It could be mental strength, support from family or friends, or the ability to excel in a certain area. Nurses need to identify the strengths of each and every person affected by leprosy to encourage the development of resilience.

Medical professionals and people affected by leprosy must share the same goals and nurture a partnership for dignified care. Nurses need to understand the purpose of the person affected by leprosy’s life; it is not the job of nurses to decide what that purpose is. The wishes of people affected by leprosy must be respected.

— Dr. Nobuko Yamaguchi, Department of Nursing, School of Health and Social Services, Saitama University