IN a recent plenary, The Generalitat Valenciana, through its Conselleria of Universal Health and Public Health, approved a new collaboration agreement with Sanatorium Sant Francesc de Borja-Fontilles in the Vall de Laguar, to which it will allocate €850,000 for 2017 – a substantial increase on the 2016 allocation of €522,000.
The Generalitat has reinforced its support, with the collaboration agreement intended to finance the sanatorium’s (‘Fontilles’) development of the social and health care of people affected by leprosy, as well as its research work on the disease.
Fontilles is a non-profit association whose goal is to end leprosy. It was founded in 1902 by lawyer Don Joaquin Ballester and Jesuit priest Father Carlos Ferris, in order to offer an improved quality of life and treatment to a greater number of leprosy patients in the Alicante and Valencia region.
A hospital, the Fontilles Colony Sanatorium – Sant Francesc de Borja, was opened in 1909, with the aim of hosting leprosy patients from all over Spain and performing a triple function of medical treatment, research and teaching. It was declared of Public Utility in 1966.
Since then, adjusting to new needs in the fight against leprosy has been a first priority. This includes running annual courses for doctors, nurses and personnel working on anti-leprosy projects and producing the only scientific leprosy journal in Spanish – Revista de Leprologia Fontilles. Fontilles has also been supporting or running an increasing number of international projects and became a Member of the International Federation of Leprosy Control (ILEP) 1969.