INITIATIVE NEWS: Activities by Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative for World Leprosy Day 2021

Activity area:

World Leprosy Day at the end of January provides an opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to the goal of a leprosy-free world by reaching out to large numbers of people in a coordinated way. The Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative contributed through the following activities.


Global Appeal


GA2021 website

The Initiative organized this year’s Global Appeal to End Stigma and Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy. Since 2006, this annual appeal has been promoting a greater understanding of leprosy in collaboration with influential individuals and organizations. The 2021 appeal focuses on the right to work and was endorsed by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). For the first time, the appeal was launched online. 

Global Appeal 2021




The Initiative webinars

The Initiative organized two webinars in the days leading up to World Leprosy Day. “Initiatives for Preservation of Leprosy History in Europe” (Jan. 22) focused on the impressive conservation efforts taking place at Fontilles in Spain and Rovisco Pais in Portugal, and invited discussion about why preserving the history and heritage of leprosy matters. “Zero Leprosy for Whom in a Post-COVID World?” (Jan. 26, 28, 29, 30) offered a platform for 21 organizations of persons affected by leprosy from 17 countries to introduce their activities and the challenges they face. Attendees agreed on the necessity of listening to the voices of persons affected by the disease. Over 400 people participated in the two webinars.

Sasakawa Health Foundation webinar series


Flip chart


Flipchart video

The Initiative collaborated on a flip chart on leprosy for use by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in India to assist in case detection at the grassroots level. The instructional tool was produced jointly with India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and WHO India. 

The flip chart features illustrations showing the benefits of being treated for leprosy and the consequences of leaving symptoms unattended. Approximately 310,000 copies are being printed and distributed in six high-endemic states. WHO India produced a companion training video. The Initiative’s partner organization, Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation (S-ILF), linked the release of the flip charts to World Leprosy Day and secured coverage from more than 120 media outlets nationwide. 

Training video (Hindi version) for using ASHA flip chart for leprosy

World Leprosy Day coverage in The Hindu


NO. 102 MARCH 2021