This year marks the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the leprosy bacillus by Dr. Gerhard Armauer Hansen in Bergen, Norway. To prompt reflection on the past and build momentum for a zero leprosy future, the Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative and the University of Bergen co-hosted an international conference on June 21–22. The conference was attended by 200 people from 27 countries and opened with video messages from Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, and Mr. Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) takes place from May 24 to June 1. This year's gathering is likely to be dominated by Covid-19, but here I want to talk about a different disease—leprosy—and a resolution that was adopted at the WHA exactly 30 years ago.