The Leprosy Mission Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

The Leprosy Mission in Papua New Guinea

The Leprosy Mission’s involvement in Papua New Guinea began in the mid 1960s. Twenty years later the emphasis evolved from a purely medical, hospital-based perspective to a new focus of training health staff in leprosy health awareness and setting up field control programs.

The Leprosy Mission has helped reduce the medical, social and economic burden of leprosy. It provided medical treatment to people affected by leprosy and helped improve the detection and management of new cases (which also limits the spread of the disease). The Leprosy Mission also provided opportunities for people affected by leprosy to gain paid employment and exercise their rights as citizens.

The Leprosy Mission Papua New Guinea has successfully secured five years of institutional funding from the New Zealand government (MFAT) for a replacement project called the Sustainable Livelihoods Development (SLD) project which commenced in 2017. This project has more of a community development focus, training local communities affected by leprosy on income-generating activities as well improved health awareness and practices regarding the disease.

The needs of people affected by leprosy in Papua New Guinea are great.

The prevalence of registered leprosy cases has increased from  381 in 2014 to at least 658 in 2015, with another 388 new cases diagnosed. This is a great concern.

Country Leader for The Leprosy Mission Papua New Guinea, Natalie Smith, says this increase is because a pool of cases have remained undetected for almost ten years.

Your support has helped detect these cases. Thank you!

Now, more than ever, we need to continue supporting people affected by leprosy in Papua New Guinea. Your support helps makes sure that cases are found and that people affected by leprosy can secure a sustainable income in remote regions.

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