When Yohei Sasakawa visited a remote village in Cameroon, he found 23 people living there.
Seidu Ishaiku lives in the hope that his children will succeed. He and his family live with about 300 other residents in the Alheri leprosy colony outside Nigeria's Federal Capital Territory Abuja.
For the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, Yohei Sasakawa, ensuring affected peoples’ human rights is fundamental to the campaign to eradicate the disease.
Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative is collaborating with 32 organizations from 13 countries to promote the message “Don’t forget leprosy” in the run-up to World Leprosy Day on January 30. The international campaign includes awareness-raising events and outreach to governments and is being publicized via newspapers, television, radio, and social media.
Yohei Sasakawa said the youth have the power to change the world, and their participation in removing the stigma and myths about leprosy is crucial to the campaign to end the disease.
The human rights of people affected by leprosy are central to Yohei Sasakawa’s concept of a leprosy-free world.
As 2021 nears its end, public health systems worldwide remain severely strained by COVID 19, which is showing no sign of ending. But even as countries battle to control the deadly pandemic, they must also maintain the progress made against other diseases, including leprosy, global leprosy experts and advocates have urged.
A new dawn has come, and it was through the work of Yohei Sasakawa, the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, that those affected by leprosy now had a voice to speak for themselves.
A visit to a leprosy facility in Korea with his father, Ryoichi Sasakawa, spurred Yohei Sasakawa to dedicate his life to eliminating both the disease and discrimination of those affected.
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.
People affected by leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, are often stigmatised. In countries like Nigeria, many of them end up as beggars due to the psycho- and socio-economic problems they face. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought fresh challenges for them and life is getting increasingly difficult. Sam Olukoya in Lagos takes a look at how people affected by leprosy in Nigeria are faring in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lilibeth Evarestus of Lagos, Nigeria doesn’t like the concept of handouts — she is against the idea of thinking of leprosy-affected people as weak.
Yet, for several months now, Evarastus – a human rights lawyer and founder of community welfare organisation, Purple Hope Foundation – has been spending a lot of time on the road, distributing food items and hygiene products among the leprosy-affected people in her community.
Fifteen years ago, Sattamma – a daily labourer in the Rangareddy district of southern India’s Telangana state – was abandoned by her husband after she was diagnosed with Hansen’s Disease.
At the age of 80, Yohei Sasakawa continues to travel around the world to promote solutions for some of the challenges facing humanity, such as Hansen's Disease or leprosy, wars and disabilities, factors of stigma and exclusion.
On Jun. 27, Faustino Pinto was in Geneva, Switzerland, where he spoke to people at the United Nations about the fight against Hansen's Disease and the stigma surrounding it, at a meeting during the 41st session of the Human Rights Council.
“The ambulance team refused to take my sick friend to the hospital because he had had Hanseniasis years before," said Yohei Sasakawa, president of the Nippon Foundation, at one of the meetings held during his Jul. 1-10 visit to Brazil.
Yohei Sasakawa has dedicated half of his 80 years of life to combating the "disease of silence" and is still fighting the battle, as president of the Nippon Foundation and World Health Organisation (WHO) goodwill ambassador for elimination of leprosy, formally known as Hansen's Disease.
When cases of Hansen's disease, better known as leprosy, increase in Brazil, it is not due to a lack of medical assistance but to the growing efficacy of the health system in detecting infections, contrary to the situation in other countries.
During his 22-year career in the health sector, Marcus Samo has seen the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) suffer from an increased burden of disease while at the same time the resources to address them have either remained the same or decreased.
It’s a good day for Dexter, a 25-year-old fisherman from Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. He’s just been told that he is cured of leprosy.
In Jack Niedenthal’s office in Majuro, there is an ominous reminder of the dark history of the Marshall Islands—once the site for dozens of nuclear tests conducted by the United States between 1946 and 1962. But it also provides a strong message about the future of island nation.