Helping Hansen’s

Africa, Documentary, Leprosy

Helping at St Clairs. Ahatokurom, Ankaful. 2012.

So bearing in mind the title of this blog and the single image of a woman helping a frail, aged man who is trying to wash himself, you may well conclude that he is the one who once had Hansen’s Disease, or leprosy. It fits with the image of leprosy too… disability, needing care, finding life difficult etc.

Well you’d be right. But you might not guess unless you looked very closely that the woman has had leprosy too. If you click on the image you’ll see her feet have suffered a bit of damage and are slightly shorter than is usual.

Just because someone has had leprosy and even suffered nerve and tissue damage doesn’t mean they can’t be the carer and not the cared-for.

This image was taken at St. Clair’s care home in the south of Ghana. The patients there are almost all disabled in some way due to leprosy (a couple of exceptions) and most are elderly anyway. They receive full time care from a mixture of employed staff and local volunteers. It was started by the Sisters of Mary and Joseph.

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