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An introduction to the issue of leprosy in the human society

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License Abstract Objective: It included eight respondents who have had leprosy and were submitted to sulfonic and multidrug therapy treatments. Health professionals may contribute to the change of the meanings, since these are socially constructed and the changes are continuous.

Leprosy, Therapeutics, Prejudice, Public Health, Cultural Characteristics Introduction Leprosy is an infectious, chronic and slowly progressive disease.

  • I went to work and people said it was leprosy;
  • After an initial increase, the number has declined from 39;
  • EP3 Leprosy or hanseniasis?
  • This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited;
  • I knew it caused those spots and I could not poke it ES7 Multidrug therapy period I saw on television that any patch can be leprosy, and then I went to the doctor physician;
  • He does not want to find any medication.

Hansen's bacillus predominantly affects the skin and peripheral nerves and may cause deformity and disability. Currently, leprosy has treatment and cure. However, the late diagnosis, the large number of patients with sequelae, the lack of awareness of the population and the difficulties of access to comprehensive care, from prevention to rehabilitation, cause social discrimination 1-2.

In the Middle Ages, the fight against leprosy was focused on the sick individual, with its extermination or exclusion from the community. Hansen's disease is present in Brazil since the beginning of colonization, accompanied by social marginalization of patients.

The compulsory isolation policy was outlined in the Bergen Conference 1909 and this practice was adopted by most endemic countries, which included isolation of patients, removal of their children, medical examination of all people who lived with the patient and incentive for its study and research 3.

The speech and the practice of compulsory isolation in Brazil can be divided into five main periods. From 1900 to 1920, the first prophylactic policies emerged. In the second period, from 1921 to 1930, the National Department of Public Health was founded and the discussions on isolation methods were intensified.

  • The polar concept as it stands today;
  • There are many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America with a significant number of leprosy cases;
  • For a long time leprosy was thought to be a hereditary disease, a curse, or a punishment from God;
  • When participants shared their views about leprosy, they often referred to it as a skin disease, emphasising the contagious nature of the disease and impairments of hand and feet;
  • Promoting partnerships with state and non-state actors and promoting intersectoral collaboration and partnerships at the international and national levels;
  • At first, he physician did not tell me anything...

In the fourth period, from 1946-1967, the international congresses discouraged, or even criticized the isolation actions. However, asylum-colonies remained due to the long period of social segregation and the difficulty of inclusion into society 3. From 1986, it has developed a new treatment with the use of multidrug therapy, which consisted of a set of three drugs, namely: Hence, the sulfonic period in Brazil comprises the years from 1944 to 1986 and the multidrug therapy period is from 1986 to the present.

In this context, there was the need to create a place where people affected by leprosy could strengthen themselves, in order to claim their rights and make clear to society the factors involving this pathology, resignifying and demystifying leprosy 4-5.

It currently has cores in 24 states of Brazil, with more than one core by region, and aims to promote educational activities focused on prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and social participation of people affected by leprosy 4-5.

Thus, the understanding of the meaning of leprosy for people who experienced these changes in treatment is important for the apprehension of the re-signification processes, since these will change the way that society deals with contagious diseases. The Vigotskian approach for nursing research or other research areas represents one of the possibility not only to describe reality, but also to explain it, by investigating its processes, relationships and transformations.

It is also one of the possibilities for developing actions, whether in education, care, management and research due to the importance of the process of interaction mediated by language in the construction of knowledge 6. Accordingly, to investigate the meaning of words and expressions of the former leprosy patients about their history is to revive, reaffirm and re-edit an introduction to the issue of leprosy in the human society past.

To recount their experiences will enable the opening of a rich range of thoughts. Thus, the goal of this study is to analyze the meaning of leprosy for people who were treated during the sulfonic and multidrug therapy periods. Thus, its action in the field of study and the effects of this action are also relevant materials for research. The Vigotskian approach considers the human psychological functioning as social and historical. Thus, the instruments, signs and all elements of the human environment, with cultural meaning, are provided by the relationships among men.

Language is the fundamental symbolic system for communication between people and the establishment of meanings, which interprets the objects, events and situations of the real world 7. The meaning refers to the objective relationships system, formulated in the word's development process, containing a stable understanding core, shared by all the people who use it.

  • It was also demonstrated that the diagnosis, information and orientation might cause emotional impact on the individual, producing reactions such as denial and revolt, or even acceptance through a process that varies in time and intensity for each individual;
  • However, inadequate psychiatric care of people with Hansen's disease is an area of increasing concern;
  • The listening, interaction, dialogue and meetings are possibilities for internalization and consequent re-signification, keeping the singularities;
  • Giving Meaning to Leprosy Two terms, lepra and kusta were commonly used by our informants to designate leprosy which has been confusing for many participants.

The sense refers to the meaning of the word for each individual and composed by the relationships established in the context of use of the word and in emotional experiences of the individual 8. The connection between meaning and sense occurs in a dialectic of forces that is part of the meaning of the word, which cannot be neglected in the study of human processes.

By aggregating the notion of meaning, commitment is expanded, reaching various forms of work on the meaning field 9. This researcher was trained along with other researchers responsible for conducting the interviews and has developed research activities for four years. The study included eight people who have had leprosy and were members of the movement, with four being treated during the sulfonic period and the other four in the period of multidrug therapy. The selection criteria were: Semi-structured interviews were conducted in person and were composed of closed questions, to characterize the individuals, and open questions so that the dialogue between the researcher and the respondent could flow freely.

The interview is one of the tool that enables the access to mental processes, mainly senses and meanings. This must be consistent and sufficiently wide to avoid inadequate inferences 10.

Psychosocial aspects of Hansen's disease (leprosy)

It was added the possibility that the interview works as a tool for the production and processing of the meanings in action. The interview was based on a script focused on the meaning attributed to leprosy by these people, their experiences of life from diagnosis, treatment and care received at the healthcare services, discrimination and experience reports regarding the disease.

Journal of Tropical Medicine

The register was carried out by digital recording with its transcription for data analysis, based on Vigotski's approach. This analysis technique was developed in workshops with the other authors and included three phases: The Research Ethics Committee approved the project, Protocol number 01169812.

In order to ensure the confidentiality of reports, respondents were identified in the presentation as E1, E2, E3. E8, added by the letter S to respondents of the sulfonic period and by the letter P for the period of multidrug therapy. Results From the data analysis, three meaning cores were constituted: Spots on the body: Sulfonic period When those spots started to arise on my skin I asked her wife to separate from me in bed, all separated ES4 I knew it was leprosy.

I knew it caused those spots and I could not poke it ES7 Multidrug therapy period I saw on television that any patch can be leprosy, and then I went to the doctor physician. Suddenly a spot appears on your skin so you get very worried EP1 I had headache and aching spots. She wife told me to go to the doctor and I answered: Ah, make me a tea. EP3 Leprosy or hanseniasis? The second meaning core is about the first contact of the participants with the health professional.

An introduction to the issue of leprosy in the human society addressed the lack of knowledge about the disease and the feelings from the diagnosis. Sulfonic period He physician said I had leprosy. At first, he physician did not tell me anything. Well, maybe he had told and I did not understand ES7 I was playing soccer. Back then it was a dictatorship time, it was not called hospital, it was called leprosarium ES8 Multidrug therapy period. I could not drink or smoke. My whole family went to the hospital.

What a nonsense, you have been untreated, so you are spreading it to population. For me leprosy meant death. EP2 Still, in this second meaning core, another heavily discussed aspect is related to prejudice and stigma suffered by the respondents, which left scars in both treatment periods.

When he brother saw me, he hid himself. He was afraid of the disease. And the brother of my sister in law had the same disease. I met him at the hospital leprosarium ES6 Once I was taken out from the bus, on the road, I had already been discharged from the hospital. There was a guy who knew that I had been hospitalized. The bus driver stopped the bus and said to me: I got off the bus and everyone was looking at me. I was left on the road.

ES8 Period of multidrug therapy I commented with a school friend that I did the test and I had leprosy. At that time I was shocked. I did not tell to anyone. She was in front of me and took two steps back. It was like hitting me on the face. I went to work and people said it was leprosy.

I told it was not leprosy, it was hanseniasis. I lost friends, but after I am cured, the friendship started again. We get hurt EP3 On the bus, people asked what it was.

You are here:

I answered that the doctor told it could be stress, cancer skin cancer, leprosy. When I used to say hanseniasis. I hope it is not. It was also observed that, despite of being healed and participating intensely at MORHAN, some research participants still have ideas that are not consistent with the current information on leprosy. Sulfonic period It helped a lot. I learned more on leprosy. I met many people ES4 About the current treatment, I know it is short.

I do not believe it, because if the bacillus is exposed to the air, it dies ES8 Multidrug therapy period I learned a lot, because what I had read had not convinced me.

By exchanging ideas, more people came. EP2 I do not know how to get contaminated hanseniasis. I think I got it at the bus because I did not use to leave the house. I'm horrified, because a person.

Leprosy: the disease

Sometimes the seat is so warm. EP2 I learned more on what leprosy was at Morhan. There were people who had the same disease. I do not know how to get leprosy EP3 Discussion In the first meaning core "spots on the body: From the Vigotskian referential 8it can be inferred that the spots on the body can be understood as signs, constituting a sort code for deciphering the world, the events and situations.