This year, Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative has invited the world’s philanthropic foundations to join the call for an end to the marginalization of persons who have experienced leprosy and the realization of a just and equitable society that respects the human dignity and fundamental freedoms of all its members.

Online Ceremony

Watch these video messages contributed for the launch online of Global Appeal 2022 and read the text of the Appeal.

Dialogue

On the occasion of the 17th Global Appeal, Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination and Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, and Mr. Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman of CII Foundation, discuss what philanthropic foundations can do to help end stigma and discrimination in leprosy.

Webinars

In conjunction with Global Appeal 2022, Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative is organizing a series of webinars on the theme of “Don’t forget leprosy”.

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Role of Health Professionals at the Grassroots Level

(January 20, 2022)

This webinar focuses on the efforts of healthcare professionals who work at the grassroots level to detect leprosy cases and prevent disability amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and introduce some success stories with aim of developing measures that can be adopted to suit the situation.

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Role of Youth: Discussions shared from 3 Regions

(January 25, 2022)

Sasakawa Leprosy Initiative will be organizing the Global Youth Forum in March 2022 to stimulate discussions among young people working to solve leprosy issues and leaders of people’s organizations. Prior to the forum, young participants will share their thoughts on what can be done to prevent leprosy being forgotten amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo Exhibition

This is a selection of photos submitted to a contest on social media on the theme of “Don’t forget leprosy.” The images depict the lives of persons affected by leprosy and/or members of their families amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two Decades of Advocacy
as WHO Goodwill Ambassador
for Leprosy Elimination

Yohei Sasakawa was appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination in 2001. Since then, he has visited some 120 countries in this role to raise awareness of the disease. These short videos were created for the “Don’t forget leprosy” campaign he initiated in 2021 to keep leprosy from being overlooked amid the COVID-19 pandemic and to commemorate his 20th anniversary as Goodwill Ambassador.

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Reflections on My Mission to Eliminate Leprosy

Yohei Sasakawa recalls his initial encounter with leprosy on a visit to South Korea with his father and how this changed the course of his life. He explains how he sees leprosy elimination in terms of a motorcycle: the front wheel represents treating the disease and the rear wheel efforts to end discrimination, and both wheels need to turn at the same time if progress is to be made.

He also stresses the importance of seeing the situation for himself, based on his philosophy that problems and their solutions are both found in the field.

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Leprosy and Human Rights

Recognizing that leprosy would never truly be eliminated unless stigma and discrimination were addressed, Yohei Sasakawa approached the United Nations to have leprosy taken up as a human rights issue.

This video traces the journey to a UN General Assembly resolution on eliminating stigma and discrimination against persons affected by leprosy as well as the ongoing work to implement accompanying principles and guidelines. It acknowledges the important role played by individuals and organizations of persons affected by leprosy in speaking out for their rights and helping to build a more inclusive society.

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Toward a Leprosy-Free World

This video traces the history of leprosy from the discovery of the bacillus that causes the disease to the emergence of the first cure, and the campaign led by the World Health Organization to eliminate leprosy as a public health production following the introduction of multidrug therapy.

With most countries having achieved this interim goal, the video looks at the strategies now in place to move the world toward Zero Leprosy and highlights the ongoing advocacy of the WHO Goodwill Ambassador.