A successful NTDs NGO Network (NNN) Conference saw the inaugural NTD Innovation Prize, an initiative of American Leprosy Missions.
Through the support of six ILEP Members, ILEP was one of the platinum sponsors of this Conference. Given that the International Leprosy Congress was just a few days earlier, it was pleasing to see plenty of ILEP connected people in Liverpool. Each attendee will have his or her highlights. For ILEP’s CEO these included:
- A moving, personal account at the opening plenary by Rajni Kant Singh, who has experienced lymphatic filariasis and now works for Lepra in India.
- Participation by Dr Mwele Malecela, head of WHO NTDs department, throughout the Conference, including the opening plenary when she emphasised partnership.
- An instructive half day on leprosy led by Erwin Cooreman (team leader, WHO Global Leprosy Programme) and Christine Fenenga from GPZL.
- A well-attended session on participation by persons affected by NTDs, co-led by Mathias Duck (ILEP Advisory Panel), Suresh Dhondge and John Sammadar of The Leprosy Mission.
- The inaugural NTD Innovation Prize, a cash award of $25,000. This was an initiative of American Leprosy Missions. You can read here about the winners and other finalists.
In the closing plenary, one of the past chairpersons reminded the Conference how leprosy had “infiltrated” the NNN back in 2009. We now have a major presence there.