Webinar: Initiatives for Preservation of Leprosy History in Europe

⇦Back to Webinar Series Schedule

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 10:00-11:10 (WET/Portugal) / 11:00-12:10 (CET/Spain)

Global Appeal 2021 Side Event

By looking at the history of leprosy from different perspectives—such as medical care, human rights and social welfare—we can gain insights that help us find solutions to the issues facing us today. Hence, Sasakawa Health Foundation supports the initiatives to preserve the history of leprosy and draw valuable lessons from it for succeeding generations. This webinar introduces the outstanding initiatives taking place in Europe to preserve the history and heritage of leprosy.

Theme:Initiatives for Preservation of Leprosy History in Europe

Moderator:Prof. Takahiro Nanri, Executive Director, Sasakawa Health Foundation


  1. Greetings (10:00-10:20 WET / 11:00-11:20 CET)
    – Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination
    Chairman, The Nippon Foundation
    – Prof. Rosa Martínez-Espinosa, Vice-Rector, University of Alicante (Spain)
    – Mr. Jose Manuel Amoros, Chief Executive Officer, Fontilles (Spain)
    – Dr. Margarida Sizenando, Clinical Director of CMRRC-RP and President of the Board of CMRRC-RP Administration, Centro de Medicina de Reabilitação da Região Centro* – Rovisco Pais (Portugal)
    * Center for Rehabilitation Medicine in the Center Region
  2. Presentations (10:20-11:00 WET / 11:20-12:00 CET)
    1. Preservation of the Historical Heritage of Fontilles
      Mr. Eduardo de Miguel, Head of International Projects, Fontilles
      Prof. Antonio García Belmar, Professor in Science History, University of Alicante
      Fontilles sanatorium is an only leprosy sanatorium in Spain operating till today. Fontilles and the University of Alicante conducting the activity to preserve its heritage and present the legacy to the society as an example of the struggle against social exclusion in the 21st century. It has a significant historical and scientific value as the result of over a hundred years work carried out in the fight against leprosy, a politicized and stigmatized disease that reflects all the social, economic, cultural, and religious elements of the history of Spain during this period of time.
      The one of central parts of the initiatives is the portal hosting the digitized material in Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, the largest library in the Hispanic Letters Network and the most visited literary website in Spanish in the world.
    2. Rovisco Pais old Leprosy
      Dr. Cristina Nogueira, Chief Executive Officer, CulturAge
      Prof. Vitor Matos, Professor in Biological Anthropology, University of Coimbra
      Rovisco Pais was a sole national leprosy sanatorium in the history of Portugal. Their preservation initiative aims to make known the history and memories of the Hospital-Colony Rovisco Pais and contribute to the preservation of the heritage and reflection on the themes of human rights, citizens’ equality, welfare models, stigma and discrimination, attitudes towards disease from the various perspectives of history, sociology, or anthropology etc. It is hoped to contribute to the reduction of the existing stigma, awareness for supporting the fight against leprosy, and promotion of research on the related matters both at national and international level.
      Through the project “Rovisco Pais old leprosy – a museological nucleus and storytelling website” support by SHF, CMRRC-RP operates the website called “Hansen Stories”, the stories of leprosy in Portugal and the traveling exhibition with the same name already on display on 20 the January 2021, ready to mark the date of World Leprosy Day. Also plans to open the Museum in its chapel on the first quarter of 2021.
  3. Q&A session (11:00-11:10 WET / 12:00-12:10 CET)