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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

NEWS: Typhoon Haiyan Hits Culion Hard

Appeal launched to help Philippine island rebuild and recover.


On November 8, large areas of the central Philippines were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, leaving more than 5,000 dead.

Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation (SMHF) has a decades-long association with the Philippines through leprosy. It has developed close ties with the island of Culion in northern Palawan province, which was once the world’s largest leprosy colony. Since 2003, SMHF has been providing assistance to the Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital as well as to Culion’s association of people affected by leprosy.

While Culion did not suffer the worst of the devastation from the typhoon (known as Yolanda in the Philippines), some 45 percent of the hospital buildings were destroyed, many homes were ruined and 75 percent of the population — some 15,000 people — have been affected.

SMHF has provided emergency reconstruction assistance in cooperation with Dr. Arturo C. Cunanan, Jr., the chief of the Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital.

It has also launched an appeal for donations for Culion’s rehabilitation. For further details on how to make a donation, please visit the SMHF website.

Donations are being accepted through February 28, 2014.


National Forum India (NFI), the nationwide organization of and for people affected by leprosy, especially those living in some 850 leprosy colonies across the country, has a new name. Following the relocation of its headquarters from Tamil Nadu to Andhra Pradesh, necessitating that it reregister, the organization will henceforth be known as the Association of People Affected by Leprosy (APAL). APAL remains committed to the social and economic empowerment of people affected by leprosy in India, working with its representatives in each state to improve the lives of people affected by leprosy and end the discrimination that they and their families face. The association was originally formed in 2006 as the National Forum.