It is sometimes said that while leprosy is a disease that's hard to catch, the friendships that form among those working in leprosy are very infectious. As toast followed toast at a dinner rounding off a conference in July at the Institute of Leprosy Training and Research in Astrakhan, Russia, it was clear that friendships were spreading fast.
The conference had been called to help open up a channel of communication between the global leprosy program and experts in Russia and Central Asia. It certainly succeeded in promoting friendships among those taking part. On this basis, a closer working relationship beckons. The beneficiaries will be the national leprosy programs concerned and the people affected by leprosy whose needs they serve.