Better Health for Communities affected by leprosy in high endemic districts

Timor Leste

The Better Health project is working to eliminate leprosy in high endemic districts. It focuses its efforts on three key provinces: Dili and Baucau in the north and Oecusse an enclave in Indonesia to the west. The project works to detect leprosy in its early stages in order to halt the onset of disability and stop its spread.

Some key successes of the project in the last year:

• Community level screening activities resulted in 124 new cases of leprosy being diagnosed and treated

• 1,943 community advocates trained and mobilized to support local leprosy activities such as awareness raising, as well as referring suspected cases of leprosy to ensure early treatment

• There are now 14 Self Care Groups with 115 members who assist each other in addressing early signs and prevention of disability.

Australian Aid Supported by the Australian Government
The Better Health Project is 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 and disability in Timor Leste.


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The Leprosy Mission in Timor Leste

Timor Leste (pronounced Tee-more Less-tay) is a country in Southeast Asia located about 640km north-west of Darwin, Australia.  Due to many years of political unrest and a long independence struggle with Indonesia, Timor Leste is continuing to rebuild its infrastructure and economy.

Leprosy is still prevalent in Timor Leste; The Leprosy Mission first began its work in the country in 1991, but ceased in 1998 due to significant political unrest. In 2004, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health, allowing The Leprosy Mission to establish Community Based Rehabilitation clinics in Timor Leste, comprising nearly twenty staff between two projects.

Since then, The Leprosy Mission's work in Timor Leste has continued to expand.

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