Asia-Pacific

Q&A: Why Treating Leprosy as a Special Disease Violates the Rights of the Person Affected by It

His multiple awards and degrees aside, Dr. Arturo Cunanan is known as a people’s doctor; one who has profound belief in the human rights of every person affected by Hansen’s disease, commonly known as leprosy.

A New Window for Delhi’s Migrant Women & Girls

When the most devastating flood in Bihar’s history came in 1987, Renu Devi recalled that the rampaging waters and landslides had swept away people who were sleeping, along with their beds.

How Many Journalists are Jailed in China? Censorship Means We Don’t Know

Reporting on China's harassment of journalists has never been easy. Lately it's been getting much harder, which suggests that conditions for the press could be worsening.

Myanmar and China’s Bride Trafficking Problem

Women and girls from Myanmar are increasingly being trafficked as “brides” to China, a human rights group found.

Women Take the Lead Tackling Climate Change in Bangladesh

The stakes are high for women when faced with a warming world – their livelihoods jeopardised by labour markets that tend to put men first, their family responsibilities increasing rapidly in the face of droughts and flooding, and politicians who refuse to acknowledge the challenges they face. The story of those living on the frontline of a harsher climate is simply not being heard.

Women, Work, and Migration

Social barriers have historically been blamed for the lack of gender parity in the workplace. But there are other dimensions to this age-old discourse.

Island Women Take the Lead in Peatland Restoration

Eluminada Roca has lived all her life next to the  Leyte Sab-a Basin peatlands. The grandmother from of San Isidro village in Philippines’ Leyte island grew up looking at the green hills that feed water to the peatland, she harvested tikog—a peatland grass to weave mats—and ate the delicious fish that was once in abundant in the waters. But today, the land is losing its water, the grass is disappearing and the fish stock has drastically decreased.

Eight Years on, Fukushima Still Poses Health Risks for Children

On March 11, we commemorate the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. To an outside observer, this anniversary passes as a technical progress report, a look at new robot, or a short story on how lives there are slowly returning to normal.

Women’s Feature Service: Mapping the Struggles of Feminism in India

Pamela Phillipose was editor of the Women’s Feature Service, the only syndicated news service in India with a gender perspective, for nearly six years, until she stepped down this year as editor in chief and director. She wore other hats for the publication as well, writing and photographing.

A Disease as Old as Time – Eliminated but Not Eradicated

As the Executive Director of Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation (SMHF), Takahiro Nanri has been working on the issue of leprosy since 2014. Over the past few years, he has traveled across the world visiting the large number of leprosy projects that SMHF has been supporting and meeting dozens of organisations led by leprosy-affected people.

Q&A: Important to Treat Anyone Suffering from Leprosy as an Equal Individual

Discrimination against women who are affected by leprosy or Hansen's Disease is a harsh reality, says Alice Cruz is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members.

New Regional Secretariat to Advance Leprosy Advocacy in Asia

Organisations of people affected by leprosy in Asia have agreed to form a regional-level secretariat to support national advocacies and represent their collective agenda at a world conference to be held later this year.

Q&A: Leprosy-affected People Live Not at the Bottom, but Outside the Social Pyramid

Takahiro Nanri is the Executive Director of Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation which has been supporting the global fight against leprosy for almost five decades. Since 2014, Nanri has been leading the foundation’s leprosy projects across the world and has deep insights into the challenges faced by the people affected by leprosy as well as the organisations that work with them.

Healthy Oceans, Healthy Societies

Over recent years, there have been shocking reports of marine endangerment and plastic pollution. The threats are clear, and now urgent action is needed more than ever.

Individual Empowerment Still Important in Leprosy Groups’ Strategies

The tragic tale of Thobias Alexander Manas’s personal experience with leprosy is all too typical.

Living with Leprosy on the Climate-Vulnerable Kiribati Island Atolls

Kurarenga Kaitire lives in Kiribati—one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations. Already vulnerable to nature, the 29-year-old mother of five has faced a series of vulnerabilities over the past decade, including facing social stigma and domestic abuse.

Building Successful Social Enterprises

Marie Lisa Dacanay is the president of Manila–based Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia. With 20 years of experience in development management, social entrepreneurship and enterprise development, Dacanay is also a university professor and an acclaimed author with several books on social entrepreneurship in Asia.

Leprosy Survivor Creates Hope and Support for Others Affected by Disease

When Ariel Lazarte from Quezon City, Philippines, was first diagnosed with leprosy in 2014, his life seemed as if it were falling apart. But now more than four years later Lazarte’s life is a huge contrast from the poverty and isolation he experienced as a person affected by leprosy.

Q& A: We Need a Holistic Approach to Eradicate Leprosy

Dr. Maria Francia Laxamana is the Assistant Secretary in the Philippines ministry of health. With nearly two decades of  work both as a senior government official and also as an expert in several non-government organisations, Laxamana has deep insight into the issue of leprosy in this Southeast Asian nation and the challenges faced by those who are affected by the disease.

A Leprosy-free Philippines by 2020?

Dr Maria Francia Laxamana, assistant secretary of health in the Department of Health, Philippines outlines her recommendations for a leprosy country by 2020.

Capacity Building the Key to Fighting Leprosy

Strengthening the participation of persons affected by leprosy, or SPP, has proven to be an effective strategy in reaching out to often isolated sufferers in local communities throughout Asia. A significant challenge to civil society organisations, however, is finding enough management talent to maintain and expand the programmes.

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