Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative

Global Community Celebrates Medical Innovations and Milestones Since Defining Leprosy Discovery 150 Years Ago

The 1873 discovery of Mycobacterium leprae, the causative agent of leprosy by Norwegian doctor Gerhard Armauer Hansen, remains one of the greatest paradigm shifts in medical history, a true revolution.

Making the Impossible Possible, Chronicles of an Ambassador’s Lifelong Frontline Battle to End Leprosy

In 1974, Yohei Sasakawa accompanied his father to a leprosy hospital he had funded. He saw leprosy patients inside the hospital still and expressionless. The smell of leprosy filled the air, the smell of pus from open sores.



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