Novartis Foundation holds meeting to discuss leprosy elimination

Novartis Foundation holds meeting to discuss leprosy elimination.
Novartis Foundation holds meeting to discuss leprosy elimination. | Courtesy of
The Novartis Foundation recently called together professionals from the anti-leprosy community and the global health community to discuss current leprosy care and treatment and the future possibility of eliminating leprosy.

The discussion topics will include how to improve the treatment, detection and care of leprosy patients.

“Although it may seem we have reached the 99th mile of this 100-mile-long journey, the final mile to elimination will not be an easy road to complete,” World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination Yohei Sasakawa said. “I am hoping that this dialogue will bring stakeholders together to take a fresh step forward toward the elimination of leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease), once and for all.”

The two-day event, which is a dialogue titled “The last mile to leprosy: innovation, integration and collaboration,” will be held in Brazil. The event is co-hosted by the Nippon Foundation, the Coordenação Geral de Hanseníase e Doenças em Eliminação in the Ministry of Health based in Brazil, and the Novartis Foundation.

“By 2020, we aspire to have demonstrated the efficacy of the interventions being tested as part of our new leprosy elimination strategy, and be moving them into national leprosy programs around the world,” Dr. Ann Aerts, head of the Novartis Foundation, said.

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