Did you know The Leprosy Mission is the only international organisation working with leprosy patients in Timor Leste? So your support of the ministry in this country is absolutely vital!
With your help, God is healing complex cases of leprosy in Timor Leste. He’s raising up leprosy affected people who can take leadership roles to fight the effects of the disease within their communities.
Thank you for healing the toughest cases!
Floriano is 38. After he was diagnosed with leprosy, he began treatment but then stopped after 6 months. He then suffered a severe leprosy reaction (like Joao on page 1). The local clinic did not have the knowledge to provide the treatment he needed. So he turned to traditional medicine, which did nothing. By the time workers from The Leprosy Mission found him, Floriano was in terrible pain. With many body parts swollen, he was immobile at home. He’s now back on Multi Drug Therapy and other drugs to fight the reaction.
Floriano’s case is typical of so many people with leprosy who suffer reaction and abandon treatment for leprosy. Through your support of the Better Health leprosy project in Timor Leste, The Leprosy Mission has an action plan to help prevent such cases. This is crucial since reaction is often the cause of disability for people with leprosy.
Targeted education of health workers will help with the correct diagnosis and treatment of leprosy reaction. So people like Floriano will get the proper treatment instead of approaching traditional healers. Health workers will also be trained to explain to leprosy patients why it’s so important to continue treatment – to avoid permanent nerve damage and disabilities.
Thank you for raising up Angelo!
Angelo is married to Flavia and has 4 children. He realised he had leprosy when field workers came to his village and talked about the signs and symptoms of the disease. They held up images of leprosy patches on other people. Angelo saw the patches on his own arms and legs were just like the ones in the pictures being shown. So he presented himself for treatment and began his course of Multi Drug Therapy… because people like you made it possible!
This energetic man is now cured and has become the leader of a self-help group for leprosy-affected people in his village. Angelo says the group members can’t work as hard on their farms as they did before due to the effects of leprosy. As many of them already struggle with poverty, this could have led to further hardship. Instead, they’ve banded together to start a small business with a microfinance loan of $500. They all pitch in to help run a small kiosk which sells fuel, noodles, sugar and other essential items. After 3 months, their loan has been repaid. Praise God!
As the only fully literate member of the group, Angelo is in charge of managing the money from the business. He leads the group with diligence, trying to lead by example. “We want our group to become a model in the community… We need support to make changes in our community. To grow a tree from which everyone can take the fruit.”
Thank you for your compassion and heart towards leprosy-affected people like Floriano and Angelo. Your generosity makes such a difference to this ministry, especially at this time when the Australian Government is considering further cuts to overseas aid. You make it possible to keep supporting one of our nearest neighbours in Timor Leste, who are affected by leprosy. If you’d like to make a gift, please call us on 1800 537 767 or go to www.leprosymission.org.au