Leprosy has two aspects:medical and social.Thanks to multidrug therapy,we are
winning the medical buttle, but it will take longer to overcome the social stiguma.
This battle is just as important for people will not be free stigma. This battle
is as just as important for people will not be free of leprosy until they are free of
its associated discrimination.
Knowledge of the true nature of the disease needs to reach every comer of society,
in this the needs to reach every corner of society, In this the role of the media is
We also need to mobilize the non-leprosy community.
It goes without saying that the best people to talk about leprosy are those
who have had the disease. Too often though, they have lacked a voice.
As We approach elimination it is more important than every that they make
themselves heard, both to encourage others to seek treatment, and to break
down barriers to social acceptance.
For this to happen, they will need to feel comfortable talking about their
However, because of the long history of social discrimination, it will not be easy,
We have to create an environment in which the leprosy affected can speak out,
and in which the wider community is receptive to what they have to say,
Their message is that leprosy is just another disease, that it is completely curable,
and that there is nothing wrong with those who have been cured.
On the medical side, this message is increasingly understood. The general health
service no longer treat leprosy as a special sickness. Treatment can be obtained
at any health facility. Medical integration is proceeding well.
But to facilitate the social rehabilitation of those affected by leprosy, to help them
regain their dignity, we also need social integration, The efforts of govermments,
corporation, unions, school and NGOs must be coordinated to ensure that their
human rights are respected.
To help in these efforts, we need to empower those cured of the disease , have
them speak out and assume positions of responsibility within influential
organizations. We must do all we can to create these opportunities.
Yohei SASAKAWA”, WHO Goodwill Ambassador
Message:Toward Social Integration
Report from India
From the Editors