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.
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.