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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

NEWS: Sasakawa Addresses JCI Congress

Welcomes JCI support for next year’s Global Appeal to be launched from Japan.

With JCI International President Ismail Hazendar (left) and JCI Japan National President Kousuke Shibata

Goodwill Ambassador Yohei Sasakawa recently attended the General Assembly of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) World Congress 2015 held in Kanazawa, Japan. JCI, a worldwide community of active young citizens aged between 18 and 40, is endorsing next year’s Global Appeal to end stigma and discrimination against people affected by leprosy. The appeal will be launched at a ceremony in Tokyo on January 26, 2016.

Sasakawa told delegates that he was delighted to be partnering with JCI on Global Appeal 2016, saying that he wanted to send out a message to the younger generation in particular on the need to end discrimination. “JCI has a global network and channels the power of youth to tackle social challenges,” he said. “Your activities have a sustainable impact on your communities.”


A new study concludes that although country-level elimination of leprosy will be achieved by 2020, leprosy is likely to remain a problem in high-endemic regions that account for most cases in a country.

The aim of the study, published in the journal Parasites & Vectors, was to investigate whether the WHO target to interrupt transmission of leprosy globally by 2020 is feasible given current control strategy. Authors Blok, De Vlas and Richardus focused on the three most important endemic countries — India, Brazil and Indonesia.

According to the study’s projections, country-level leprosy incidence will decrease to 6.2, 6.1 and 3.3 per 100,000 in India, Brazil and Indonesia, respectively, meeting the elimination target of less than 10 per 100,000. However, elimination may not be achieved in time for high-endemic regions within those countries. Leprosy incidence in 2020 is predicted to be 16.2, 21.1 and 19.3 per 100,000 in Chhattisgarh (India), Pará (Brazil) and Madura (Indonesia), respectively, and the target may only be achieved in another five to 10 years.


The website for the 19th International Leprosy Congress that takes place in Beijing from September 18 to 21, 2016 is now open. The theme of the congress is “Unfinished business: stopping transmission, preventing disability, promoting inclusion.” Abstract submission opens on November 1, and registration begins from March 2016.