I spent beautiful 6 weeks in the urban leprosy and TB research center in Nellore, for my internship as a nursing student from Belgium. I had the chance to see several TB, MDR-TB and leprosy cases. I had a lot of learning opportunities here, like assisting with the reconstructive surgeries, doing ulcer cares, seeing new cases in OPD, observe in the MDR-TB lab, doing field visits to see patients and screening school children on leprosy patches.
The most impressive case I saw was a lady with type 2 leprosy reaction, she had nodules all over her body (from her feet until her face), and some of them became infected. She had three small children, one of them was 4 months old. She is having these nodules for a period of 5 years. On her admission, she looked tired, weak and was complaining of pain. She received appropriate medicine, as well as healthy food and new clothes for herself, her husband and the children. After a few days, I could already notice a difference in her condition. She looked healthier and was smiling again. When she was discharged, she received medicine to continue the treatment.
Everything in the center is free of charge, which makes it accessible to everyone. There will be no judging of the patient, and every single person was looked as a unique case. They would not only be concerned about their physical health, but also give them help on social and economic areas. For example: pay for a training to be able to practice a job. These things make Damien Foundation a very unique organization. I am happy and PROUD with my experience in this center!
I am now a witness and I understand why people are selling these typical pens of Damien Foundation every year in the supermarkets in Belgium. So this year, think about me when you see these volunteers and buy yourself some nice pens.
Expand the awareness about leprosy and TB.
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– Gladys Unmusambi
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