KIT Blog

The vital importance of early detection of leprosy.

Your kind-hearted prayers and support help stop life-long disability and discrimination. 

Joaninha, from Timor-Leste contracted leprosy as a teenager more than 25 years ago. Itchy skin, nodules and weakness were the early signs of leprosy. She did not feel any pain when she scratched. Joaninha immediately sought help. Her clinic doctor was able to diagnose her with leprosy. She had been unaware of leprosy before this, and her family have been supportive. Now she has a supportive husband, and five daughters. She feels very lucky that she did not have permanent disability or side effects from leprosy that she sees other people have.

Celestino who is also from Timor-Leste had a very different experience. He first noticed pale skin patches and pain in his hands and feet. He did not know this was leprosy and did not seek treatment and the signs and symptoms continued to worsen. By the time an Australian doctor met him the damage to his hands and feet could not be undone. Celestino has lost his toes and most of his fingers. Simple tasks such as opening a bottle are now difficult to do and he is unable to work outside his home. Fortunately, he has support from the self-care group training and from family members.

Your faithful prayers are needed to ensure more people receive help and treatment. Needless disabilities like Celestino's can be prevented.  Your prayers for the Improved Leprosy Services project are vital. Early detection of leprosy helps to minimise transmission. The Leprosy Mission can then provide treatment, monitor patient progress and provide self-care support.

Pray for Joaninha and her family to continue in good health and to remain free from leprosy. 

Pray for Celestino to continue looking after his hands and feet to prevent further deterioration in his health. 

Pray for the Improved Leprosy Services project team members as they continue to work towards strengthening the health system in Timor-Leste in leprosy detection, diagnosis and management.


Your support today for the Improved Leprosy Services project can transform the life of people affected by leprosy like Joaninha and Celestino.

The Improved Leprosy Services Project supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Thanks to ANCP, this project is able to help improve the well-being of people affected by leprosy in Timor-Leste.

Thanks to early intervention and a supportive community Joaninha has not suffered the effects of leprosy.

Your prayers for people like Celestino are needed today.