Nippon Foundation Joins Hands With Disabled People’s International For Global Appeal 2018
An annual initiative of The Nippon Foundation (TNF) since 2006, Global Appeal aims to put an end to the discrimination faced by people affected by Leprosy and their families. The Nippon Foundation (TNF) is led by Mr Yohei Sasakawa who is also the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination since 2001. The fight to end stigma against Leprosy is in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. This includes every person affected by Leprosy in the whole wide world.
For the launch of the 13th edition of the Global Appeal, TNF is partnering with Disabled People’s International (DPI), the world’s first successful cross-disability endeavour to convert the talk about full and equal participation of persons with disabilities into action. So far, 91 Member National Assemblies (MNAs) of DPI from around the world have endorsed the Global Appeal 2018.
Javed Abidi, Global Chair, DPI will be the host for Global Appeal 2018 in India. Explaining the intent of the ‘Global Appeal 2018’, Javed Abidi says, “Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases known to mankind and people affected by it continue to be rejected and neglected by society due to its outdated image of being contagious and disfiguring. However, today it is curable with antibiotics. We need to rise above the social, economic and legal discrimination that still persists for people affected by this disease.”
The Global Appeal 2018 will be launched in New Delhi, India on Tuesday, 30th January 2018 at Taj Diplomatic Enclave.
There are 22 Leprosy-endemic countries where the prevalence rate of Leprosy is more than 1000 cases/year. These include Angola, Bangladesh, Brazil, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Micronesia (Federated States of), India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Tanzania.
About 200,000 new cases of Leprosy are detected each year, worldwide and there are still several active Leprosy colonies in the world, where people do not have access to basic facilities and continue to be seen as outcasts.
DPI Member National Assemblies (MNAs) in the Leprosy-endemic countries have made proactive efforts to include self-help organizations of Leprosy as members into their National Assemblies with an aim to integrate Leprosy into the larger disability movement worldwide. In 2018, the focus will be on Bangladesh, Brazil, Myanmar & Tanzania.
The Global Appeal 2018 aims to:
- Have the voice of people with Leprosy heard at international forums.
- Build capacity of leaders from the Leprosy sector.
- Enhance awareness and inclusion of persons affected by Leprosy in the disability movement.
“India has recently enacted a very strong disability rights law, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. Leprosy is one of the 21 disabilities covered under this law. This most prestigious international event therefore comes to India at a very opportune time. Like I have been saying for a long time, we need to create a special focus on the neglected disabilities and highlight their issues. This mega global event will help us do that that. Thanks to the Global Appeal 2018, many top notch experts from all over the world will be here including officials of the UN and WHO. We must make use of this opportunity and benefit from it. It is about time that we not just end the stigma against people affected by Leprosy but bring them into the mainstream,” added Javed Abidi who is the Global Chair of DPI and the Convenor of India’s Disabled Rights Group (DRG).