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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

NEWS: Vatican Conference on NTDs

Meeting follows conference in June that focused on care of persons with leprosy.

A Vatican conference on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and rare pathologies was held November 10-12, 2016, hosted by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers.

NTDs, which include leprosy, are among the most common diseases of the poor, with one in six people around the world said to have at least one NTD.

Representing the Goodwill Ambassador, Nippon Foundation Executive Director Tatsuya Tanami spoke about the foundation’s work against leprosy, its support for the WHO’s Global Leprosy Programme and the role of the Goodwill Ambassador in raising awareness of leprosy and advocating for an end to the stigma and discrimination that people affected by the disease still face.

“Leprosy is not only a medical issue, but a social issue. Unless both are tackled at the same time, it will not be possible to achieve a truly leprosy-free world,” he said.


The Leprosy Research Initiative (LRI) invites proposals for funding beginning 2018 for research projects on leprosy. Preference is given to research applications combining leprosy with other NTDs or other diseases that share cross-cutting issues with leprosy.

Examples include combined self-care/wound care of leprosy and other diseases affecting the foot or lower limb; combined approaches for skin-related NTDs; combination of prevention/treatment of NTDs; and combination of preventive chemotherapy for leprosy and other NTDs.

A Letter of Intent outlining the intended research should reach the LRI secretariat by February 28. For more details, visit