4 May 2012

Pacific Leprosy Foundation awarded $100,000

8:34 am on 4 May 2012

The New Zealand-based Pacific Leprosy Foundation says a 100,000 US dollar award from the World Health Organisation will help to advance its leprosy control programme in Kiribati.

The non-profit charitable organisation has received the WHO's annual international Lee Jong-Wook Memorial Prize for excellence in public health.

The Manager of the Leprosy Foundation Jill Tomlinson says it works with health ministries in countries including Samoa, Vanuatu, and Kiribati to treat and eliminate leprosy.

"It's wonderful for us to have additional funds. And it means that in the next year we will be working, we are working in Kiribati which has had unfortunately quite a major increase in the number of cases of leprosy in the last three or four years. So we've got an intensive programme running there and it means we can step that up and provide training for health workers on the outer islands."

Jill Tomlinson says the award recognises the work the foundation has been doing despite leprosy not being at the forefront of disease eradication in the Pacific.