The aim of this new project is to see sustainable livelihoods and health outcomes for communities affected by leprosy and disability in Papua New Guinea.
The project aims to ensure that individuals, communities and households affected by leprosy and disability secure more improved and sustainable incomes in an environment with improved health practices.
The project will therefore work to provide opportunities for people affected by leprosy to gain paid employment and help communities to recognise the rights of people affected by leprosy so they are able to participate socially in their own communities.
The Leprosy Mission in Papua New GuineaThe 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 project also provided opportunities for people affected by leprosy to gain paid employment and exercise their rights as citizens.
The Leprosy Control Partnership project had been going for five years before ending in November 2016. Some key achievements from this project in its final year:
- 2 skin clinics conducted in 2 high endemic districts covering 11 hotspot villages in Central Province leading to 37 new cases being found
- 83 “leprosy ambassadors” appointed – people affected by leprosy (or from families affected by leprosy) to speak to communities and raise awareness about leprosy.
- 104 health care workers (from leprosy endemic provinces) trained in leprosy diagnosis and treatment which are working across 158 health facilities.
- 11 village health awareness programs conducted in high prevalence districts, with 4,227 attendees
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. The Leprosy Mission Australia is supporting this project which 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 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 makes sure that cases are found and that people affected by leprosy can secure a sustainable income in remote regions.