Leprosy Among Diseases Targeted by New Global Initiative

Groups Unite to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases

In late January 2012, leaders of government, public and private health groups and major drug companies gathered in London to launch a global initiative to control or eradicate 10 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including leprosy. American Leprosy Missions has officially endorsed the initiative, the so-called London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases. The partners say the initiative is the largest coordinated effort ever undertaken to combat debilitating diseases that affect 1.4 billion people around the world. Inspired by the World Health Organization’s 2020 Roadmap on NTDs, they believe there is a tremendous opportunity to work together to enable the more than a billion people suffering from NTDs to lead healthier and more productive lives. According to the World Health Organization, these diseases cost billions of dollars in lost productivity. But the maladies have been largely overlooked because they affect relatively small and mostly poor populations. “American Leprosy Missions recognizes that only through true collaboration will we be able to conquer leprosy and related diseases,” said Bill Simmons, President and CEO of American Leprosy Missions. “That is why we are pleased to endorse the London Declaration and commit ourselves to aggressively combating leprosy in cooperation and coordination with the global health community.”

About American Leprosy Missions

American Leprosy Missions, based in Greenville, South Carolina, is the oldest and largest Christian organization in the United States dedicated to curing and caring for people affected by leprosy and related conditions. American Leprosy Missions currently operates in 15 countries in Africa, Asia and South America. During its more than 100-year history, American Leprosy Missions has provided holistic care to 4 million people around the world including medical treatment and training, Christian outreach, prevention of disability, community development, education assistance and vaccine research.

For Additional Information

Sarah Hesshaus
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