Fiji’s Twomey Hospital celebrates 100 years

Fiji’s P J Twomey Hospital celebrated 100 year of existence on Tuesday.

The hospital which was originally built on Makogai Island in the Lomaiviti Group has been the destination for the treatment of leprosy since 1911.

Two new leprosy wards, the Karuru Ward and the Mother Mary Agnes Ward were  opened as part of the centenary celebrations.

The Pacific region’s first specialised dermatology laboratory constructed at a cost of about $1million was  known as the Daulako Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory, was also opened as part of centennial celebrations at the PJ Twomey.

A leprosarium Makogai was opened by the British Fijian government in 1911 and run by the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary,(SMSMs). In 1969 this leprosarium was closed and patients needing treatment continued to be cared for by the SMSM sisters at the P. J. Twomey Memorial Hospital in Suva. The sisters continued their involvement by running the hospital until it became a Fiji Government hospital in the 1990s.

Patrick Twomey, who become known as “The Leper Man” established a charity with the same name. This one-man operation grew into a dedicated team who ran the Trust Board which in turn gave rise to the Pacific Leprosy Foundation which continues operating today providing aid to leprosy sufferers in the South Pacific islands.


Additional reading

News category: Asia Pacific.

Tags: , ,