No.5 Ambassador’s Message: Africa’s Political Commitment

Many countries in Africa have had to deal with debilitating problems, ranging from

a heavy debt burden to poverty, hunger, epidemics and civil wars. Of the 54 countries in

Africa, nine are leprosy endemic, with three (Madagascar, Mozambique and Angola)

having a prevalence rate of more than three per 10,000 inhabitants, in my position

as special ambassador for the elimination of leprosy, I visited these three countries

during the past year to meet with the top of leaders to six African countries while

they were in Japan for the

Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development ( TICAD Ⅲ),

held in late September.

In the meetings I had with these leaders, I urged each of them to strengthen

leprosy elimination measure in their countries, promoting educational and

medical efforts.

They pointed out the fear people have regarding the disease and the resulting

discrimination. They reassured me of their commitment to further devote their efforts

toward the removal of such stigma and the reintegration of those affected by leprosy

into society.

The roles played by the played by these political leaders is vital in generating social

movement for the elimination of the disease and the stigma associated with it.


Yohei Sasakawa WHO Goodwill Ambassador




Message : Africa’s Political Commitment

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