Improved Leprosy Services

Timor Leste

The new project, Improved Leprosy Services in Timor Leste (ILS), will keep up the work of the Better Health project (which concluded in 2019) in three districts, and expand to a fourth – Manatuto – which has seen a worrying trend of emerging leprosy cases recently.

The ILS project will also develop an exit-strategy for The Leprosy Mission Timor Leste’s engagement with the Ministry of Health, in order to promote sustainability.

The Better Health project worked to eliminate leprosy in the high-endemic districts of Dili, Baucau and Oecusse. Working as the official partner of the Timorese Ministry of Health in the National Leprosy Control Program, Better Health strengthened early detection of leprosy to help minimise transmission and disability in affected communities.

Last year, the project achieved the following:
• Leprosy information material distributed to 41,937 people
• 25,817 people screened for leprosy
• 102 new cases of leprosy diagnosed
• 191 health workers trained in leprosy detection and management

Social Return on Investment
The Better Health project screened household members and neighbours of people newly diagnosed with leprosy, in order to catch further cases quickly. At a cost of $3.25 each, 445 people were screened.

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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