In ECLIPSE, we strongly endorse the biopsychosocial model. In contrast to the biomedical model, that sees illness and disease as a purely biological event, we regard CL at the intersection of biological, psychological and social factors.
From this perspective, stigma related to CL is not inherent in the condition itself, but stigma stems from people’s beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and responses. These are always shaped by the sociocultural context in which they occur. For instance, it is clear from the literature on CL that whilst in a country like Colombia, CL scars are highly stigmatized as they have political undertones tied with guerilla fighters in the jungle, whilst in Turkey, these scars are sometimes considered to be a beauty mark, especially by the older population. It is crucially important to take into account cultural meanings of CL because they have very real implications in people’s everyday life, on both a personal level (e.g. whether someone chooses treatment or not) and on a policy level, in terms of what resources and services are available.