March was a busy month for ILEP, and it was great to experience the positive momentum within the leprosy community at our Colchester meetings. We would like to express our enormous thanks to Lepra who hosted ILEP’s ITC, Panel of Persons Affected by Leprosy, the ILEP Communications Network and the March Members’ Assembly.
We recognise that working with others is an essential part of the ILEP strategy, and the week also saw the first meeting of the new Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy leadership team, which started charting the path towards the ambitious goal of zero leprosy. At the same time and in the same place, many ILEP members were actively engaged in the NNN’s DMDI group, considering myriad issues of integrating the cross-cutting challenges of disease morbidity and inclusion in their work.
The Members’ Assembly meeting mainly focused on the potential of the Global Partnership and what it means for ILEP. We looked at how to manage the costs of the two secretariats, and as a result, we will be calling for the additional role of an ILEP coordinator for the partnership’s working group on operational effectiveness. ILEP will therefore no longer have a technical coordinator role, and we sadly say “au revoir” to Pim Kuipers in his current position. I am sure many of you will join me in thanking him for the fantastic job he has done as the ILEP technical advisor over the past couple of years. Also at the MA, we were sad to see plan:g (formally known as ALRA) leave the network. However, thank you to Damien Foundation for stepping in and kindly offering to host the October meetings in Brussels.
Finally, we are delighted to share with you the ILEP Annual Report, which highlights the amazing work of the network. A heartfelt thank you to the 49 ILEP country coordinators who took the time to report back on our Annual Country Survey, which provides the basis of much of this report. The ILEP Annual Report is an evolving document, designed to showcase the collaborative work and impact of our members – as ever we welcome your feedback.