| Combatting Hansen's disease |
|VII. Patient management|
It is the aim of this section to outride the philosophy behind all those activities which we do to, with and, for the confirmed HD patient from registration to release from control and beyond. Herein, there are sections on patient directed health education, registration, chemotherapy, reaction, management of insensitive members, follow-up, and social and legal measures, in that order. Each section includes philosophy, technical information, language, and helpful hints' born of sore experience. Reference is made throughout proceeding chapters for specific technical data.
As health education is the heart of HD control programs, patient management is its body. What use is education, epidemiological studies, testing or case finding without effective treatment and management? More than through hearing the most articulate speech about the curability of HD, it is when villagers see ulcers health, fingers straighten and infiltration reverse that the new reality about HD takes hold.
Though a case worker may know the objectives priorities, problems and methods of HD control by heart, there is always one evil against which he must constantly be on guard: the attitude that patient management is what I DO FOR THE PATIENT, not WHAT THE PATIENT DOES FOR HIMSELF. It is the ultimate goal of all HD control efforts not to wed the patient to the treatment center, but rather to help him become a healthy, well integrated member of his community, by his own will and strength! Signs of independent action based on the truth about his disease should be encouraged, not feared when seen in patients.