- The Leprosy Mission Australia
- Nov 24, 2023
Thank you for your loving prayers for the people of Timor Leste.
This country is such a close neighbour of Australia — yet faces so many challenges. Despite its best efforts, the government of Timor-Leste simply cannot provide the medical services you and I take for granted. This means too often people with leprosy are forgotten. Leprosy-healing drugs like Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) are in short supply. Even a headache tablet can be hard to find.
That is why it is so important for The Leprosy Mission in Timor Leste and the Ministry of Health to collaborate closely together. And why your prayers are so valued and important right now.
Your Improved Leprosy Services (ILS) project staff work in 2 high-endemic districts of Baucau, and Manatuto. Their aim is to work towards elimination of leprosy in these districts. They share this aim with Señor Aparico, Director of the Leprosy Control Program in Manatuto.
Once, leprosy was considered eliminated and so active support for case finding and treatment ceased. Because of this, when Señor Aparico began in his role back in 2015 zero leprosy cases were reported. But leprosy cases were on the rise again.
Since this time, he has seen the case numbers of leprosy rising year after year, revealing that leprosy has been existing and spreading in the community for many years undetected.
In 2023, the ILS narrowed its focus to these 2 districts in order to work more closely with the Leprosy Control Program. During this time Señor Aparico and his team, working together with the ILS team have screened 3,800 people and found new cases, all adults, some with grade 2 disabilities (such as clawed hands) found at diagnosis.
Once diagnosed it is vital that patients receive correct treatment quickly and effectively. The ILS team supports the Control Program team by providing training and supervision to health workers. This is important, both for the patients but also for Señor Aparico’s ambitious plans which include screening all 14,000 people in his district of Manatutu.
To celebrate World Leprosy Day, Señor Aparico organised a celebration day, inviting national and district representatives and people affected by leprosy in his district to join together to celebrate and raise awareness of the disease.
Thanks to your prayers and the dedication of the Improved Leprosy Services and Control Program teams to collaborate, people affected by leprosy are being seen, heard, and given the dignity they deserve.
Pray for the people of Timor Leste as they struggle to access necessary health care. Pray particularly for people affected by leprosy to be diagnosed, access Multi-Drug Therapy and have essential ongoing treatment to care for wounds and disabilities.
Give thanks and pray for the partnership between the Improved Leprosy Services and the Leprosy Control Program teams. Pray that this will continue to be a blessing to the people of Timor Leste and especially people affected by leprosy.