Welcome to the official website of the Global Appeal.

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is a communicable disease that can be cured with drugs that are available free of charge. But while drugs can cure the disease, they alone cannot erase the social stigma and prejudice that are a legacy of centuries of myths and misunderstandings about leprosy.

The Global Appeal is an annual message to spread awareness and call for an end to the unwarranted discrimination that persons affected by leprosy continue to face. Initiated in 2006 by Yohei Sasakawa, the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, the appeal is issued every January to coincide with World Leprosy Day.

Each year it receives the support of influential partners from different fields to build solidarity and ensure that its message reaches far and wide.

The Global Appeal 2021 was launched on Sunday, January 31, 2021. 

This year, Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative is delighted to have the endorsement of the International Trade Union Confederation for the call to end discrimination against persons affected by the disease. We invite you to explore the website and share the message of the Global Appeal with your friends and colleagues.

Over the past 15 years, the Global Appeal has invited globally influential individuals and organizations from different sectors to lend their voices. See these video messages from some of our past partners.

In conjunction with Global Appeal 2021, Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative
is organizing a series of webinars to highlight why leprosy still requires our attention and
what needs to happen if we are to achieve a world without leprosy and its accompanying
challenges.

  • Initiatives for Preservation of Leprosy History in Europe
    Following the end of the compulsory segregation of leprosy patients, former isolation facilities are falling into disuse or being repurposed, and the number of people who personally experienced isolation and exclusion is rapidly declining. Preserving memories and the material heritage of leprosy is thus a matter of urgency.

    Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative is actively encouraging preservation activities in different countries. Through these efforts at preserving and elucidating leprosy history, we seek to foster a better appreciation of human rights and realize a society free of stigma and discrimination.

    This webinar introduces some outstanding initiatives taking place in Europe to preserve the history and heritage of leprosy.

    PROGRAM

  • Zero Leprosy for Whom in the Post-COVID World? Vol.1
    With the spread of the novel coronavirus, leprosy programs in many countries have been disrupted. At such a time, it is essential to ensure that leprosy is not overlooked and that efforts against the disease fully resume once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

    In the first of a four-part webinar, Vol. 1 will feature panelists of persons affected by leprosy discussing an issue they have identified as particularly important to them—Discrimination and Right to Work. This webinar will offer insights into the disease from those who have direct experience of it.

    Vol.1 will be followed on subsequent days by Vol.2 "Issues of Women and Children", Vol.3 "Advocacy, Awareness-raising and Elimination of Stigma", and Vol.4 "Mental Health and Disabilities." See VIEW MORE below for details.

A Brazilian singer-songwriter of Lebanese heritage, São Paulo-based Thamires Tannous envelops the listener with her clear and beautiful voice. She has performed all around Brazil, as well as Austria, Germany, and France. The highly-rated singer has released two albums to date and has fans all over the globe. She also volunteers her time for MORHAN (the Movement for the Reintegration of People Affected by Hansen’s Disease), performing at events and appealing for a world free from stigma and discrimination related to Hansen’s disease.

What prompts someone to get involved with an issue? We introduce four young people who became aware of the challenges that persons affected by leprosy face and felt compelled to act. It’s as if they feel the issues concern them personally. “Stories” is a collection of interviews that highlights their motives, actions and aspirations. They are not affected by leprosy themselves but are passionately committed to making the world a better place for everyone.

    Swiper01

    Mariko Takahashi

    Mariko established a volunteer organization with local students in Hanoi to organize international leprosy work camps among Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese students.

    Swiper02

    Nadhila Beladina

    Nadhila is Executive Director of SATU JALAN BERSAMA, an Indonesian NGO. She joined JALAN as a volunteer when she was a freshman at a university and she now organizes work camps and exhibitions to raise awareness about leprosy.

    Swiper03

    Takuro Matsumura

    Takuro photographed a community of persons affected by leprosy he got to know on a visit to India in 2017 when he was a university student. After graduating in spring 2020, he joined an IT company in Japan. He hopes to raise awareness of leprosy in India through his photos.

    Vijaykumar Pasham

    Vijaykumar is a the grandson of persons affected by leprosy. He lives in a leprosy colony in Gujarat, India. He volunteers his time to teach young people in the colony life lessons, encouraging them to get stable jobs as well as to be active in making the colony a better place. He is also involved in the Gujarat Leprosy State Forum, an organization for people affected by leprosy in Gujarat State.

    • Mariko Takahashi

      Mariko established a volunteer organization with local students in Hanoi to organize international leprosy work camps among Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese students.

      Nadhila Beladina

      Nadhila is Executive Director of SATU JALAN BERSAMA, an Indonesian NGO. She joined JALAN as a volunteer when she was a freshman at a university and she now organizes work camps and exhibitions to raise awareness about leprosy.

      Takuro Matsumura

      Takuro photographed a community of persons affected by leprosy he got to know on a visit to India in 2017 when he was a university student. After graduating in spring 2020, he joined an IT company in Japan. He hopes to raise awareness of leprosy in India through his photos.

      Vijaykumar Pasham

      Vijaykumar is a the grandson of persons affected by leprosy. He lives in a leprosy colony in Gujarat, India. He volunteers his time to teach young people in the colony life lessons, encouraging them to get stable jobs as well as to be active in making the colony a better place. He is also involved in the Gujarat Leprosy State Forum, an organization for people affected by leprosy in Gujarat State.

  • Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae. It is curable with a combination of drugs known as multidrug therapy (MDT).However, if the disease is not detected and treated early, it can cause irreversible damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes, and result in lifelong disability.

    More than 200,000 new cases of leprosy are reported annually worldwide.

    Leprosy remains a stigmatizing disease, and a person may experience discrimination even after he or she has been cured. The discrimination limits their opportunities for education, employment and marriage, pushing them and their family members to the margins of society.

    The reasons include the physical consequences of the disease if treatment is delayed, past policies of isolation that have left a legacy of fear associated with contagion, and the belief in some quarters that leprosy is a curse.

    By learning about leprosy that it is a curable disease and discrimination has no place, each one of us can help create a world free from medical and social problems related to this age-old disease.

    Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae. It is curable with a combination of drugs known as multidrug therapy (MDT).However, if the disease is not detected and treated early, it can cause irreversible damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes, and result in lifelong disability.

    More than 200,000 new cases of leprosy are reported annually worldwide.

    Leprosy remains a stigmatizing disease, and a person may experience discrimination even after he or she has been cured. The discrimination limits their opportunities for education, employment and marriage, pushing them and their family members to the margins of society.

    The reasons include the physical consequences of the disease if treatment is delayed, past policies of isolation that have left a legacy of fear associated with contagion, and the belief in some quarters that leprosy is a curse.

    By learning about leprosy that it is a curable disease and discrimination has no place, each one of us can help create a world free from medical and social problems related to this age-old disease.

    Sasakawa Leprosy
    (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative

    Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative is a strategic alliance that links together the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, Sasakawa Health Foundation, and The Nippon Foundation for achieving a leprosy-free world.

    In addition to organizing Global Appeal 2021, we are also involved in other activities to mark World Leprosy Day on January 31, 2021.
    For more information, click on the link below and visit the Sasakawa Health Foundation website.

    Information on World Leprosy (Hansen's Disease) Day