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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

NEWS: ASEC-TNF Project Set to Begin

New initiative on leprosy and human dignity to be launched on June 15.

The ASEC-TNF Project on Leprosy and Human Dignity will be inaugurated this month at a ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia. A joint initiative of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretariat and The Nippon Foundation, the fiveyear project aims to address the social and economic consequences of leprosy in Southeast Asia.

The new project will focus on empowerment workshops, the creation of networks of people affected by leprosy, capacity-building programs and the formation of partnerships with different sectors, including the business community, with the goal of achieving a society in which people affected by leprosy can live with dignity.


Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of Professor Turkan Saylan in Istanbul on May 19. Professor Saylan, who died of cancer the previous day at the age of 74, gained an international reputation for her leprosy work. She was ahead of her time in appreciating that it was necessary to address patients' social and economic needs as well as treating them with drugs. In recognition of her efforts, she was presented with the International Gandhi Award in 1986.

In Turkey, she was best known as the founder, in 1989, of the Association in Support of Contemporary Living, an organization that built schools and financed the education of poor students, especially girls, from some of Turkey's most impoverished regions.


The Delhi state government has invited the president and secretary of the Delhi Leprosy Patients Union to join the Advisory Board of the Delhi Social Welfare Department. This is the first time that people affected by leprosy have been invited to serve on the board.

Commenting on the groundbreaking decision, Mr. G. Venu Gopal of the National Forum of people affected by leprosy, said, "It provides us with a chance to throw away the crutches . in the shape of other people . that we have been using for our requirements and to tackle matters by ourselves. We hope the decision of the Delhi government will serve as a model for all other state governments."