A leader from Papua New Guinea working with the Leprosy Mission will speak in Taree in October.
In the year 2000 the Papua New Guinea government declared that by World Health standards, leprosy was not a major problem.
But the problem has quietly persisted and has now surfaced in Port Moresby and in the Central, Sandaun and Western provinces.
Hundreds of sufferers are being treated. Last year 464 new cases were reported.
The Leprosy Mission Australia helps in fighting the disease and some might think Australian staff are involved. This is not the case.
The only Australian is the country leader, Natalie Smith.
For four years she was the country leader in Timor Leste, then handing over the leadership to a Timorese woman.
Since 2013 Natalie has led from her base in Port Moresby. The people of Papua New Guinea fill the staff positions.
One of the workers is Rosa Koian who will speak in Taree.
Rosa leads the Sustainable Livelihood Development Project, designed to give leprosy-affected families health care and income–generating activities. Fifty communities and more than 50,000 people stand to benefit – people in crowded and poverty-stricken parts of Port Moresby, people in remote villages whose families cannot afford medication or the bus fare to hospital.
In the coming month Rose will be visiting Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria as well as NSW. It is hoped that many more Australians will be inspired to learn, pray and give to defeat leprosy.
The local auxiliary will host a function for Rosa on Tuesday, October 2 at 7pm in the Presbyterian Church Hall, Albert Street, Taree.
Rosa will speak, the Christian Choir will sing and supper will be served. Admission is free; there will be an opportunity to support the work. All are welcome. Enquiries to Mrs Phyll Smith 6552 5556