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The vision of a leprosy-free Pacific

The Pacific Leprosy Foundation was established by Patrick Twomey in 1939 following many years of fundraising on behalf of the leprosy patients who inhabited Makogai Island in the Fijian Group.

There they were cared for by the smsm Sisters until the leprosarium closed in the 1960s. Remaining patients were moved to the Patrick Twomey Memorial hospital in Suva, many of them choosing to make the hospital their home, rather than rejoin their own families and communities. The last of these residential patients died in October 2014.

Patrick Twomey was well known throughout New Zealand as “The Leper Man” and his vision of a leprosy-free Pacific remains as the mission of the Pacific Leprosy Foundation to this day.

The Pacific Leprosy Foundation is the only charity which works with leprosy sufferers and their families in New Zealand and the South Pacific.