November 2022. The 2nd Global Forum of Organisations of Persons affected by Leprosy / Hansen’s Disease, and the 21st International Leprosy Congress were held in Hyderabad, India from 6-11 November 2022. Pak Kadri and Kerstin of PerMaTa South Sulawesi and YDTI were fortunate to attend these events. We thank Sasakawa Health Foundation for making this possible!
At the Global Forum, we met with activists from around the world to share and learn. The three themes of this event were capacity building for organizations, inclusion, and partnerships. Group discussions were held around these themes to identify priorities for the future. Each group repeatedly presented their findings to the forum. The importance of capacity building was stressed by many, as was the need to include young people affected by leprosy in our fight against leprosy, stigma and discrimination. The Sasakawa Health Foundation had organized this event, and Yohee Sasakawa, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy, attended most of the sessions. Beauty queens Miss India and Miss Brazil were also invited to help us advocate for a world without stigma and discrimination.
Find the conclusion statement and recommendations of the Global Forum here.
At the ILC, we had the opportunity to listen to interesting presentations and meet other people who are working to eleminate leprosy: Researchers, donor organizations and governments. Unfortunately, there were very few persons affected by leprosy present, and it was telling that Indonesia, which is number 3 globally in terms of numbers of leprosy cases, was represented by only a small handful of people.
We left India inspired and motivated, with new friends and allies and full of energy to continue our work!