Leprosy is stealing away childhoods in PNG.
You’re just a child. You love writing. You love playing touch rugby. You long to go to school and be accepted by your friends.
But above all, you want to help your mum. You see her working her fingers to the bone but you can do nothing.
Because you have leprosy.
Your gift will help:
The Leprosy Mission Australia is partnering with The Leprosy Mission PNG on a new project, ‘Leprosy Support in Western Province’. This project operates in the Western Province, where villages and health clinics are often remotely located and difficult to access. Often it is very difficult to both reach leprosy patients – people like Lily (read her story below). Ensuring local health workers have leprosy knowledge is also a challenge.
This project seeks to train health workers at the clinical level in leprosy diagnosis, treatment and management, to ensure every clinic across Western Province has two health workers with leprosy expertise. The project will also monitor MDT supply, and train community members to spread awareness about leprosy, and other health issues.
Lily is a young girl from Papua New Guinea. She lost two toes on one foot and had a terrible ulcer on the other due to leprosy. Lily was doing well on Multi-Drug Therapy and had begun home schooling so she can finish her education. Unfortunately, some of her ulcers wouldn’t heal. Despite receiving shoes and bandages to assist with self-care, Lily’s ulcer never healed. Finally, Lily was in so much pain her leg had to be amputated.
If only Lily been found andtreated earlier, she would have been cured and may still have her right foot. However, there’s still hope for Lily. First came crutches for Lily. PNG Country Leader Natalie Smith says:“I went to the hospital to teach her how to use them and to practice going up and down stairs… The hospital only provides one meal a day for patients so we helped to buy food… so she was getting enough nutrition to help the amputation heal up quickly.” Natalie says they’re helping Lily get approved and fitted for a prosthetic leg. With physio and practice, she will one day walk again.