The WHO Review Meeting met in New Delhi, from 18-20 June 2018.
The meeting was organised to ascertain the status of their special funds namely the Bangkok Declaration Special Fund (BDSF) & the Extra-ordinary Circumstances Special Fund (SFEC). The former is supported by the Nippon Foundation and the latter by the WHO. Additionally, the current Global Leprosy Strategy (2016-2018) was reviewed as well. The other specific objectives of the meeting included:
- To review the implementation of BDSF an SFEC projects and define transition into routine programmes.
- To review leprosy control in global and regional priority countries, including implementation of the Global Leprosy Strategy 2016‒2018.
- To share policy and programmatic updates.
- To discuss need for new funding mechanisms for innovative initiatives beyond 2020.
The meeting was well attended by close to 50 participants that included the National Program Managers of both low & high endemic countries along with the island nations in the pacific. The meeting had an ideal mix of program managers, people, research institutes, civil society, & colleagues from the WHO Regional Offices. The meeting was inaugurated by Dr. Namgyal (Director, Special Projects, WHO), Mr. Vikas Sheel (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India), Prof. Nanri (The Nippon Foundation), Ms. Mary (Representing the people’s forum), Mr. John Kurian George (ILEP) & Dr. Eric Cooreman (Team Leader, GLP-WHO).
While reviewing the performance of the special funds there was significant focus given on ‘early case detection’ and innovative ways of diagnosing early cases. Also, reviewing the current leprosy Strategy (2016-18) set an ideal backdrop towards discussing the following Global Leprosy Strategy (2019-21). The discussed veered around it being a stand alone strategy or whether it should be embedded within the broader NTD strategy.
With thanks to John Kurian George, the ILEP India country representative, for this update.