The project is now taking its findings further by involving people with NTDs in leading and shaping a series of support groups, with the support of state NTD programme implementers. These groups will bring people affected by NTDs together, providing a positive environment where they can receive peer support and build networks. The groups will address issues raised from the research, providing guidance on areas such as disease management, vocational training and psychosocial support.
Adekeye says: “It is really exciting to see the people affected as co-researchers driving the support groups, deciding when and where they will meet, and setting the agenda for their meeting.”
Adekeye explains that support groups will run in Kwara and Kaduna states for the next few months, providing guidance on areas such as wound care, treatment, and psychological wellbeing. The idea is that the support groups will gather momentum and that the affected people will continue to meet after the research project ends. Co-researchers will continue using photovoice as the support groups are implemented, in order to document the process.
The project will also look at the wellbeing of the participants before and after the series of support group meetings to determine the impact the support groups have had on stigma reduction and psycho-social wellbeing.
Adekeye says: “Our hope is that the groups will improve people’s wellbeing and reduce the amount of stigma that they experience, making a positive impact on these people’s lives.”
“Our hope is that the groups will improve people’s wellbeing and reduce stigma”
Originally published Sightsavers: Source