No.6  Ambassador’s Message : Where Is the Sense of Urgency?

Last year, as WHO special ambassador for the elimination of leprosy, I made three visits

to India, and Angola. I wish to India, and also went to Madagascar and Angola. I wish

to express my heartfelt appreciation to the people I met for their dedicated my efforts.

Nevertheless, frankly speaking. I strongly feel that a sense of urgency is lacking.

We have only two years left in which to achieve the goal of elimination. A lot more

needs to be done.

I am urging everyone concerned, from political leaders and medical officers to health

workers out in the field, to share their know-how and experience, and maximize theirs

efforts for elimination.

As I repeatedly say, on a journey of 100 miles, after 99 miles we are only just halfway.

We have the chance to rid the world of a scourge that has been with us for millennia,

yet we are only halfway there.

In order to accomplish the historical achievement of elimination by the end of 2005, the

year 2004 will be of crucical importance. Unless we all do our best, this goal will be


In order to increase public awareness of leprosy, I have been working hard to drive home

to political leaders, government officials, journalists and people in general the following

three messages: leprosy is curable, free treatment is available; and social discrimination

has no place. With these words to guide us, let us go forward together and complete the

rest of our journey,

Yohei Sasakawa WHO Goodwill Ambassador


No.6 PDF


Message : The Need to Communicate (危機感はあるのか?)

Prescription for success

Progress and prospects

Committed to the cause

Ambassador’s Journal