International Symposium at the Vatican on Hansen’s Disease “Leave No One Behind” and GLOBAL APPEAL 2023 to End Stigma and Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy

In 2016, an International Symposium was held at the Vatican titled “Towards Holistic Care for People with Hansen’s Disease, Respectful of their Dignity.”

Since that symposium, new case numbers remained more or less constant until the coronavirus pandemic, which impacted leprosy services, disrupted case finding and saw a large drop in new cases from 2020. The pandemic made it harder for persons affected by leprosy to receive treatment and disability care, and impacted their day to day lives and the lives of many other socially vulnerable individuals.

Against this backdrop, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Develpment and Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative as well as French Raoul Follereau Fondation and AIFO-Italian Association Amici di Raoul Follereau, have agreed to co-host a second international symposium on Hansen’s Disease. At this symposium, we aim to examine the progress made against leprosy over the past six and a half years and the challenges that remain, and provide stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss future actions to realize a world free from leprosy and its associated problems. More broadly, the symposium will also consider how socially vulnerable individuals and communities, especially those consisting of persons with disabilities due to diseases, have been affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and propose ways we can work toward a society in which no one is left behind.

In addition, the symposium will also incorporate the launch ceremony for Global Appeal 2023 to End Stigma and Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy.

Date: January 23-24, 2023
Place: Auditorium “P. Agostino Trape”, Patristic Institute Augustinianum, Rome

Organizers:
   Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
   French Raoul Follereau Fondation
   AIFO-Italian Association Amici di Raoul Follereau
   Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative
Language: English with Italian, French and Portuguese translation

Program

Day 1 : January 23rd (Monday)

10:00-10:05 Opening Prayers

10:05-10:10 Message by His Holiness Pope Francis

10:10-10:35 Greetings from the Organizers

・Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, F.M.A., Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Holy See
・Dr. Pierre-Yves Thiebault, President of French Raoul Follereau Fondation
・Mr. Antonio Lissoni, President of AIFO
・Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination

10:35-11:10 Messages from Dignitaries

・Mr. Francisco Faustino Pinto, National Vice-Coordinator of Morhan, Brazil
・H.E. Dr. Michael Mann, Ambassador of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
・Mr. Tim Hughes, Deputy Executive Director of the International Bar Association
・Prof. Margareth Hagen, Rector of the University of Bergen, Norway (video)
・Mr. Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (video)
・Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO (video)

11:10-12:00 Launch of the Global Appeal
・Special Video
・Message from Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination
・Reading of the text of the Global Appeal 2023 by Ms. Letícia Cezar da Frota, Miss World Brazil 2022
・Photo session

12:00-13:30 Press Conference
・Organizers & Representatives of persons affected by Hansen’s disease

Theme: Toward Zero Leprosy

13:30-14:00 Keynote Speech: Addressing the Current Situation and Remaining Challenges in Leprosy, Six Years after the Adoption of “Conclusions and Recommendations”
・Dr. Ibrahima Socé Fall, Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, WHO
・Dr. Alice Cruz, UN Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family member (video)

14:00-15:20 Session 1: Zero Disease & Disability
Moderator: Dr. Vivek Lal, Team Leader of Global Leprosy Programme, WHO

Panelist:
・Dr. Roch Christian Johnson, Medical Director of French Raoul Follereau Fondation
・Dr. Paul Saunderson, Technical Advisor of American Leprosy Missions
・Ms. Arielle Cavaliero, Global Business Director of Leprosy Global Health Program at Novartis
・Dr. Anil Kumar, Additional Secretary General, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India (online)
・Dr. Benedict Quao, Programme Manager of the National Leprosy Control Programme, Ghana
・Ms. Lucrecia Vasquez Acevedo, President of Felehansen, Colombia

Panel Discussions

15:50-17:10 Session 2: Zero discrimination
Moderator: Dr. Takahiro Nanri, Executive Director of Sasakawa Health Foundation/ Sasakawa Leprosy Initiative

Panelist:
・Mr. Brent Morgan, International Director of The Leprosy Mission International and President of ILEP
・Mr. Gaurab Sen, CEO of Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation
・Dr. Margarida Cristiana Napoleão Rocha, Technologist at the Ministry of Health, Brazil
・Dr. Tanzina Islam, Deputy Program Manager of the National Leprosy Program, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh
・Mr. Tesfaye Tadesse, Managing Director of Ethiopian National Association of Persons Affected by Leprosy (ENAPAL), Ethiopia
・Mr. Al Kadri, Chairman of PerMaTa Indonesia

Panel Discussions

17:10-17:05 Wrap-up

Day 2 : January 24th (Tuesday)

09:00-09:05 Prayers

Theme: Toward Realizing a Society in Which No One Is Left Behind

09:05-09:20 Keynote Speech: What has been the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the socially vulnerable, especially on those who are with disabilities?

・Dr. P. Narasimha Rao, President of the International Leprosy Association and Indian Association of Leprologists

09:20-10:45 Testimony
Moderator: Mr. Amar Timalsina, Executive Director of IDEA Nepal

・Ms. Dimby and Ms. Soavina, Persons affected by Hansen’s disease, Madagascar (video)
・Mr. Rajni Kant Singh, State Coordinator for Bihar Operations, LEPRA Society, India (video)
・Ms. Paule Helena Biaka, A person affected by buruli ulcer, Cote d’ivoire (video)
・Mr. Juan Alberto López Padilla, A person affected by leishmaniasis, Colombia
・Mr. Sarang Gayadhane, Secretary of Association of People Affected by Leprosy (APAL), India
・Ms. Patrícia Gonçalves Soares, Coordinator of the Department of Policies for Women, Morhan, Brazil

11:15-12:45 Best Practices with special attention to the roles of religious organizations
Moderator: Mr. Patrice Simonnet, Director General of AIFO

Speakers:
・Mr. Thierry zen Ruffinen, President of Fondation CIOMAL de l’Ordre de Malte
・Sr. Sabine Ramasinoro, Head of Marana Centre, Madagascar
・Dr. Jose Manikkathan, Director of AIFO India
・Sr. Bawani Chelliah, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, Sri Lanka
・Sr. Gladis Estela Llano Uribe, Director of Villa Bernarda Foundation, Colombia

Q&A session

Recommendations and suggestions on how to move forward from the conclusions and recommendations adopted in 2016

Moderator: Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, Secretary General of International Catholic Migration Commission

14:15-15:25 Session 1: Perspectives of key actors from the Global Leprosy Community

・Dr. Vivek Lal, Team Leader of Global Leprosy Programme, WHO
・Dr. Alice Cruz, UN Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members (video)
・Dr. Margarida Cristiana Napoleão Rocha, Technologist at the Ministry of Health, Brazil
・Dr. Benedict Quao, Programme Manager of the National Leprosy Control Programme, Ghana
・Mr. Geoff Warne, CEO of ILEP
・Mr. Bill Simmons, CEO of American Leprosy Missions and Chair of Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy (GPZL)
・Dr. P. Narasimha Rao, President of the International Leprosy Association and Indian Association of Leprologists
・Ms. Arielle Cavaliero, Global Business Director of Leprosy Global Health Program at Novartis
・Ms. Letícia Cezar da Frota, Miss World Brazil 2022
・Ms. Maya Ranavare, President of Association of People Affected by Leprosy (APAL), India and the representative of the 2nd Global Forum of People’s Organizations on Hansen’s Disease

Q&A session

15:55-16:45 Session 2: Perspectives of the Organizers

・Mr. Patrice Simonnet, Director General of AIFO
・Mr. Oleg Ouss, CEO of Raoul Follereau Foundation
・Dr. Takahiro Nanri, Executive Director of Sasakawa Health Foundation/ Sasakawa Leprosy Initiative
・Mons. Charles Namugera, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Holy See

Q&A session

16:45-16:55 Wrap-up & Closing Remarks