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FOR THE ELIMINATION OF LEPROSY NO.20 (WHO SPECIAL AMBASSADOR'S NEWSLETTER)

 事業名 ハンセン病対策啓発活動
 団体名 笹川保健財団  


NEWS
ILU Wins Sasakawa Health Prize
Dr. Gokhale acknowledges Mahatma Gandhi as role model in fight against leprosy
 
 
 The International Leprosy Union, represented by its president Dr. S.D. Gokhale, was one of two recipients of the 22nd Sasakawa Health Prize awarded at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on May 25.
 The prize is presented annually to outstanding individuals and organizations working to improve primary health care in both the medical and social fields.
 Launched in 1986, the ILU was a pioneer in the fight to protect the human rights of people affected by leprosy in India. For 20 years it has worked to correct public perceptions of the disease, empower those affected by it and help in their social reintegration.
 In his speech of acceptance, Dr. Gokhale began by paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, saying, “Gandhi was a great visionary, and his mission was not only to treat but to eliminate and eradicate leprosy. He inspired hundreds of leprosy workers to take up this cause. ILU and myself are humble partners in this crusade.”
 Noting that “the battle against M. Leprae is more or less over,” thanks to the introduction of multidrug therapy, Dr. Gokhale said that “the battle against stigma has still to be won.” Even after being cured, people affected by leprosy continue to be “stigmatized, alienated and not accepted by their families and society,” he said.
 Based on his time as the superintendent of a leprosy home, where an elderly woman resident asked not to be introduced to a visiting official because the man was her son and believed his mother was dead, Dr. Gokhale came to see that suffering due to leprosy was not merely physical. “It is the existence of stigma that hurts leprosy patients the most,” he said.
 

Leprosy LEXICON
● M. leprae
 Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by a bacterium, Mycobacterium leprae.
 This slow-growing bacterium is related to M. tuberculosis, the organism that causes TB. M. leprae was discovered in 1873 by a Norweigan physician, Gerhard Henrick Armauer Hansen. Because of the negative associations attached to the word leprosy, the disease is known by many today as Hansen's disease.

FROM THE EDITORS
LEPROSY AND HIV/AIDS
 Two recent statements on HIV/AIDS could easily have been referring to leprosy.
 At a civil society hearing at the end of May in connection with a UN General Assembly highlevel meeting on HIV/AIDS, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the only way to win the fight against HIV/AIDS is if civil society is at the heart of those efforts.
 “One of the absolute musts in this effort is greater and more meaningful involvement of people living with HIV.
 “Their perspectives are needed to make sense of programs, planning and policy-making for HIV prevention, care and treatment. Their engagement is the key to stamping out stigma and discrimination. Their voice is the surest way to sustain the passion and compassion we need to win against the pandemic.
 “Yet, so far, HIV-positive people have not been involved nearly enough. The international community has not made full use of their expertise and insight. Too often, attempts to engage them have looked like tokenism,” he said.
 “We must do better. That means that governments, the UN system and civil society at large need to develop more effective partnerships with people living with HIV.”
 A few days earlier, on the opening day of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, delegates were introduced to an HIV/AIDS activitist from Kenya, Johnson Mwakazi.
 Mwakazi, who is HIV positive, spoke of his experiences through this poem:
 
Underneath the Veil
This one thing has destroyed families,
This one thing has destroyed marriages,
This one thing has killed men.
It is not HIV
It is not AIDS
...It is stigmatization.
I say STIGMATIZATION.
 
FOR THE ELIMINATION OF LEPROSY
Publisher
Yohei Sasakawa
Executive Editor
Tatsuya Tanami
Editor
Jonathan Lloyd-Owen
Associate Editors
Akiko Nozawa,
James Huffman
Layout
Eiko Nishida
Photographer
Natsuko Tominaga
Editorial Office
5th Floor, Nippon
Foundation Building,
1-2-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 107-8404
Tel: +81-3-6229-5601
Fax: +81-3-6229-5602
smhf_an@tnfb.jp
 
With support from: Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation, The Nippon Foundation
 
 

(c) 2006 The Nippon Foundation. All rights reserved by the foundation. This document may, however, be freely reviewed, abstracted, reproduced or translated, in part or in whole, but not for sale or for use in conjunction with commercial purposes. The responsibility for facts and opinions in this publication rests exclusively with the editors and contributors, and their interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the Goodwill Ambassador's Office.
 
 
 
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更新日: 2019年5月18日

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