September 19, 2016
Despite considerable progress made in the fight against leprosy
- transmission of leprosy must be stopped
- leprosy causing of lifelong disabilities in children must be prevented
- laws and practices that discriminate against people affected by leprosy and their families must be abolished
Beijing, China, Monday 19 September 2016 – the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations, ILEP, is exhibiting at the 19th International Leprosy Congress taking place this week at the Beijing International Conference Centre. ILEP Members: American Leprosy Missions, Lepra and The Leprosy Mission International and ILEP joint initiatives: Infolep, Leprosy Review and the Leprosy Research Initiative are exhibiting at the ILEP stand.
President of the International Leprosy Association, Marcos Virmond, welcomed ILEP Members to the congress and wished the international anti-leprosy association a successful week. He said, “this congress is an ideal opportunity for scientists, researchers, health personnel, partner organisations and people affected by leprosy to interact, discuss and share experiences in a variety of fields under the theme of ‘Unfinished Business.’”
American Leprosy Missions will be launching a new electronic textbook entitled International Textbook of Leprosy written by internationally recognised authors in their fields. Lepra will be displaying a range of its custom-made shoes designed to protect the feet of people affected by leprosy. The Leprosy Mission International will be exhibiting a number of aspects of its global operation including the sale of artisan products made by people affected by leprosy.
Infolep will be demonstrating the latest developments in its leprosy information platform Infolep and the new InfoNTD portal on cross-cutting issues in NTDs that was launched in May this year. Academic print journal, Leprosy Review will be presenting the latest research undertaken in leprosy. The Leprosy Research Initiative will be showcasing the latest medical and scientific research undertaken by this combined venture.
President of ILEP, Jan van Berkel, said “ILEP and its 14 Members are committed to support research, programmes and innovations that can bring our joint objectives to within reach: Zero Transmission, Zero Disability and Zero Discrimination. At the 19th ILC in Beijing we look forward to renewing partnerships and strengthening our joint commitments.”
ILEP is a membership organisation of 14 international NGOs whose outreach spans 67 countries and 700 projects worldwide. ILEP is supported by two advisory boards; a Panel of women and men affected by leprosy (the Panel) and the ILEP Technical Commission (ITC). In the fight against leprosy, ILEP and its Members work alongside the World Health Organization, the Novartis Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, other NGOs, Governments, Ministries of Health and over 500,000 supporters worldwide.
Follow ILEP in Beijing on Twitter #ILC2016
NOTES TO EDITORS
About American Leprosy Missions:
American Leprosy Missions is the oldest and largest Christian organisation in the United States dedicated to curing and caring for people affected by leprosy and related diseases. Its mission is “To serve as a channel of Christ’s love to persons affected by leprosy and related diseases, helping them to be healed in body and spirit and restored to lives of dignity and hope.” American Leprosy Missions currently operates in more than a dozen countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. During its more than 100-year history, it has provided holistic care to four million people around the world including medical treatment and training, Christian outreach, prevention of disability, community development and vaccine research.
Contact details: Sarah Hesshaus, Communications Director
Tel: +1 864 241 1731
Infolep is an international, online platform and knowledge centre with easy access to 26,000 information resources on leprosy and related subjects. Infolep provides links to many free full texts and a library service with document delivery, literature search and monthly overview of recent publications.
Contact: Jiske Erlings, Information Officer
Tel: +31 20 5950530
Lepra is an international charity working in Bangladesh, India and Mozambique to fight disease, poverty and prejudice. Lepra makes sure that people affected by neglected diseases can have access to good healthcare and supports them to improve their lives and livelihoods. Every year Lepra changes the lives of more than two million people, either directly through healthcare or indirectly through health education programmes.
Contact details: Sarah Nancollas, Chief Executive
Tel: +44-1206 216 701
About Leprosy Review:
Leprosy Review is an academic journal including original papers on all aspects of leprosy printed every quarter by Lepra. Topics published include research into the medical, physical and social aspects of leprosy and information relevant to leprosy control.
Contact: Irene Allen, Assistant Editor
Tel: +44 (0)1206 216 703
About Leprosy Research Initiative
Leprosy Research Initiative is a combined venture of Netherlands Leprosy Relief, American Leprosy Missions, German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association (DAHW), effect:hope (The Leprosy Mission Canada) and The Leprosy Mission International. The partners have established a joint fund to support leprosy research and to source external funding. The joint fund will be reserved for research that is exclusively or strongly related to leprosy. Additional resources will be actively sought for research in the field of general disabilities and for research aimed at different diseases (e.g. other NTDs, tuberculosis and diabetes) in combination with leprosy.
Contact details: Nicole Dinnissen, Programme Officer
Tel: +31 20 5950 534
About The Leprosy Mission International:
The Leprosy Mission International is the global leadership, co-ordination, facilitation and monitoring body of The Leprosy Mission Fellowship, a global federation of 31 country offices of The Leprosy Mission. The Leprosy Mission takes a holistic view of leprosy and the needs of people affected by leprosy. Its priorities range from health needs (including leprosy detection, treatment, rehabilitation and ongoing care), inclusion of people affected by leprosy into their communities, changing of community attitudes towards leprosy especially in areas where leprosy is stigmatised, building the capacity of workers in health and social services through training programmes, and research studies and modelling good practice.
Contact details: Jannine Ebenso, head of Quality Assurance
Tel: +44 (0) 208 326 6767
About Public Health Strategy in Leprosy
Leprosy control programmes have shown impressive achievements during the past three decades. With the introduction of multidrug therapy, the registered prevalence of leprosy globally decreased from more than five million people affected in the mid-1980s to around 200,000 in 2015. More than 16 million people affected by leprosy have been treated.
The goal of the elimination of leprosy as a public health problem is based on the criterion of less than one registered person affected by leprosy per 10,000 head of population. This was achieved at a global level in 2000 and by 2005; most countries had achieved this target. However, these statistics hide the reality that there are still some countries which are highly endemic or have highly endemic pockets. The continued decline in global prevalence rate has not led to the elimination of the disease in many localised sites globally. As a result, many people still have the disease, and it is being actively passed on to others in their communities.
People continue to be diagnosed with leprosy in numerous countries worldwide. Evidence that transmission of the disease still occurs, can be seen in the consistent diagnosis of leprosy in children in many settings. This year alone, 18,976 children have been detected with leprosy. Alarmingly, a proportion of children diagnosed are found to already have visible impairments, which indicates late detection. The numbers of people newly diagnosed with leprosy and people newly diagnosed with visible and substantial impairments highlights the urgent need for special action to detect all people affected with leprosy in highly endemic countries or highly endemic pockets. This means scaling up and improving leprosy services, notably case detection and treatment completion.
About countries where leprosy is highly endemic
There are 14 countries worldwide where 95% of people who are newly detected with leprosy live: Bangladesh, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka and United Republic of Tanzania. Brazil, India and Indonesia together account for 81% of new leprosy patients globally. India accounts for 60%.