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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

NEWS: Asia-Pacific CBR Congress Held

Post-congress workshop looks at strengthening linkage between CBR and leprosy.

Opening ceremony of the Asia-Pacific CBR conference in Bangkok

The First Asia-Pacific Community-Based Rehabilitation Congress was held in Bangkok, Thailand, from February 18 to 20. Around 700 participants attended from over 50 countries in the region, including representatives from central and local governments, NGOs, disabled people's organizations, and regional and international organizations. The involvement of people with disabilities was extremely high both as presenters and participants.

The congress, the largest gathering of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) practitioners to date, highlighted evidence of innovative initiatives under way in the region as well as the popularity of CBR in the Asia-Pacific.

A post-congress workshop on CBR and Leprosy was held on February 21 and 22. The main objectives were the strengthening of the linkage between CBR and leprosy programs; the promotion of the WHO/ILEP Technical Guide on CBR and Leprosy and leprosy programs to embrace CBR; and the inclusion of people affected by leprosy in a CBR program and in society. A total of 86 participants from 20 countries took part.

At the end of the workshop it was unanimously decided that more such workshops are needed to bring these two sectors closer so as to promote quality of life of people affected by leprosy, to enhance their inclusion in society and to ensure that people affected by leprosy enjoy the same rights and opportunities as any other disabled as well as non-disabled person.

For further information regarding the Asia- Pacific congress, please visit http://www.cbrasiapacific. org/ and for the post-congress workshop on CBR and leprosy, go to the AIFO website: