Self-care groups of leprosy-affected people in Mozambique.
Introduction: In 2011, the national leprosy control programme in Mozambique decided to promote the setting up of self-care groups (SCGs) for prevention and care of disabilities. Objectives: To present an overview of the national SCG strategy and to understand the perceptions of people with leprosy regarding the benefits and challenges of participating in the SCGs in Mozambique. Methods: Semi-structured group interviews were carried out with 22 SCGs involving 299 leprosy affected people in Nampula and Manica provinces. Results: SCGs are involved in different activities and do not limit themselves to activities related to disability care. The majority of respondents expressed satisfaction about their participation in SCGs. Apart from perceived benefits in relation to their disabilities, the majority of SCG members also reported benefits in social participation. Lack of training, insufficient resources for income generation and long distances were the major challenges for SCGs, especially in the Manica province. Conclusions: People affected with leprosy perceive SCGs as useful in self-care for prevention of disabilities and social participation