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No.01 Ambassador’s Message : A MESSAGE FROM THE SPECIAL AMBASSADOR

My work in leprosy elimination has spanned more than 30 years. However, the roots of my work go even deeper than that, covering two full generations. My late father Ryoichi Sasakawa (1899-1995), who founded The Nippon Foundation in 1962, deeply involved himself in the work of elimination. He had been immensely touched by the social effects of the disease since childhood, when he witnessed what happened to a beautiful young woman in his village who had contracted the disease. She was not allowed to marry the man she loved, was confined to her home and eventually was forced to leave. Seeing this made and eventually was forced to leave. Seeing this made my father determine to eradicate leprosy from the surface of the Earth. I share in his determination and when I came to the foundation, we worked together. Since his passing, I have continued pushing toward the elimination of leprosy as my life’s work. I have taken up his catch to rid the world of this ailment that has been around since the beginning of history.

Leprosy in fact has been a disease that makes human beings suffer for centuries. Since the dawn of recorded history, there have been numerous references to leprosy. Accounts of it can be found in the Old and New Testaments, the ancient documents of China and Indian classics from the sixth century B.C.

 

Yohei Sasakawa WHO Goodwill Ambassador

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Message : A MESSAGE FROM THE SPECIAL AMBASSADOR

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