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The Sustainable Livelihood Development (SLD) Project

Papua New Guinea

This new project will focus on the development of agricultural and sustainable livelihoods initiatives for people in 50 communities affected by leprosy and disability across Papua New Guinea.

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.

In December 2015, the previous phase project completed its third and final year but was permitted an extension of government funding throughout 2016/2017 to finalise activities. This project aimed to address the medical and social consequences of leprosy and thus reduce the leprosy burden in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The project also worked 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 can participate in their communities.

Some key achievements of the project in its final months included:

• 464 new leprosy cases diagnosed.

• 389 health workers training in leprosy diagnosis and management.

• 11,105 people reached with health promotion (including leprosy awareness) activities.

IMPACT STATEMENT / SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT:

In 2017, in cost approximately AUD$3.62 per person to ensure 11,105 community members from high leprosy-prevalence provinces were reached with health promotion activities, to ensure greater public awareness that leprosy is curable.

 
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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 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 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.

 

 

 

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