#WorldHealthOrganization, #WHO, #GlobalPartnershiptoStopLeprosy, WorldLeprosyDay2018, #DrErwinCooreman, #bacillusMycobacteriumleprae, #Novartis, #NipponFoundation
Toronto, Jan 28 (Canadian-Media): On observance of World Leprosy Day today, World Health Organization (WHO), headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and established in 1948 -- reportedly a specialized agency of the United Nations concerned with international public health -- welcomed the launch of the ‘Global Partnership to Stop Leprosy’.
WHO - Facebook
The new partnership -- launched ahead of the World Leprosy Day 2018 -- is the collaborative efforts of several national programmes, leading agencies and organizations, patient advocates and donors to reportedly enhance implementation of WHO Global Leprosy Strategy 2016-2020 “Accelerating towards a leprosy-free world.”
Acoording to official reports, Leprosy was globally declared to have been “eliminated as a public health problem” 18 years ago, but "nine out of every 100 new cases diagnosed today are children,” Dr Erwin Cooreman, Team Leader of WHO’s Global Leprosy Programme was reported to state.
“The world has the tools, the right medicines and the political will – yet we are falling short of detecting the disease in time, particularly among children.” said Cooreman.
The harsh reality that some of the children, recently diagnosed with leprosy already showed signs of disability calls for early case detection and surveillance.
“Leprosy in children clearly shows that transmission of the infection is occurring in many communities and that detection efforts are inadequate,” added Dr Cooreman. “We again re-emphasize the importance of periodic follow-up, contact tracing and monitoring of everyone in a household where a case is detected.”
Leprosy which is caused by bacillus Mycobacterium leprae infection multiplies very slowly in the human body with bacterium's long incubation period (on average five years or longer) destroys the body’s nervous system.
WHO reports of 2017 revealed number of cases is slowly declining, but newly being diagnosed needs greater attention.
Leprosy is curable and treatment provided in the early stages averts disability.
Since 2000 Novartis had been providing multidrug therapy free of charge through WHO (and earlier by the Nippon Foundation since 1995) and provides a simple but an effective cure for all types of leprosy.
WHO’s new global strategy, besides elimination, focuses to collaborate with governments to end the discrimination among vulnerable groups, including migrant populations, and the poor and displaced communities.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)