January 2018
Each month, we share our progress, next steps, and profiles of the people involved in the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy.
INPUT NEEDED: Survey for WHO 2030 targets coming soon
Beginning in April 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) will discuss and adopt global indicators and targets for 2030 for all neglected tropical diseases. The WHO Global Leprosy Programme has asked the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy for input. This is the first time that the leprosy community as a whole has been asked to engage in the process, so we hope you will provide your guidance by answering the survey.
 
This survey will seek your feedback on potential global targets, which have been grouped under the Triple Zero format, in line with the WHO leprosy strategy. Please note that these are global targets: countries that already have lower leprosy endemicity are expected to adopt stronger targets, and those with higher endemicity are expected to consider national targets that contribute to the global targets.
 
The results of this survey will be collated and sent to WHO and Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy members later in February. WHO’s Global Leprosy Programme will use the feedback from this survey to inform its discussions and decisions about leprosy targets. 
 
The survey will be emailed to all Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy newsletter subscribers next week. Please look for it in your inbox. All responses will be strictly confidential. We appreciate the hard work of the ILEP Technical Committee, Geoff Warne, Monty Mokhayer, the WHO Global Leprosy Programme and Dr. Cairns Smith who have helped make the survey possible.
Leadership Team in Brussels 2018
The partnership reaches one-year milestone

Courtenay Dusenbury, Secretariat Director, reflects on our first year

Less than a year ago the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy consisted of a steering committee and an outline of a new organization that, it was hoped, could engage the leprosy community in the same solidarity and joint purpose that had been achieved by other neglected tropical diseases groups. To do so, said Leadership Team Chair Bill Simmons, would require faith, honesty, personal commitment and an abundance of goodwill. It would also require putting aside longstanding challenges and disparate approaches, and an acceptance that all the organizations that comprised the Leadership Team had an equal and important voice. 

During their first year the engaged and committed members of the Leadership Team have volunteered countless hours to envision and establish the partnership. They have overseen the establishment of a transparent and efficient governance structure that includes a charter, weekly updates and monthly teleconferences, with meeting notes available to the public on www.zeroleprosy.org. Their discussions and guidance on a long-term strategy for the partnership resulted in an Action Framework that clearly and concisely outlines the shared long-term goal and objectives of the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy.

More than 140 scientists participated in the development of an aligned Research Agenda that will be used to seek funding for priority research beginning in 2019. More than 180 policy-makers, persons affected and national programme directors are participating in an Operational Excellence Working Group to develop a template for a national visioning and assessment plan for Zero Leprosy.  Read more

(The leadership team in Brussels pictured above.)
Working groups update

We welcome 181 members to the Operational Excellence working group ! Based on the enthusiastic response to the open call, five thematic groups have been divided into 11 sub-groups.Teleconferences for the sub-groups will begin in February. The sub-groups will identity best practices which will be part of an online toolkit to help countries reduce leprosy, stigma and discrimination.  

Research Agenda coming soon
The goal of the research agenda is to align the leprosy community around key research needs and priorities and help coordinate the scientific research essential to achieving the goal of zero leprosy. A manuscript is being prepared for publication and sub-group reports will be available on zeroleprosy.org soon.

Detailed updates about the working groups will be in next month's newsletter.
Ending stigma and discrimination: World Leprosy Day 2019

This year’s theme for World Leprosy Day on 27 January is ending discrimination, stigma and prejudice. The majority of people affected by leprosy are believed to experience some form of stigma and discrimination. Up to half of them will face mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. 

Video: Mathias Duck, chair of ILEP's panel of persons affected by leprosy, speaks about the extreme forms of discrimination and stigma against persons affected. Watch the video .

Quiz: Many people suffer from being ostracized by their families and communities because of the many myths that persist about leprosy
Take the quiz to see whether you can separate fact from fiction. 

See many more resources, including a new report on stigma and leprosy, on ILEP’s website .
Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Program profile: Bangladesh

Leprosy control in the South-East Asia Region remains a challenge. However, these countries are determined to overcome leprosy and its resulting complications. Every month we will be highlighting a new South East Asian country to show the steps they are taking to actively progress towards a leprosy-free world. This month we are looking at the country of Bangladesh. Read more
The Star now available

Read the latest issue of The Star, whose motto is to radiate the light of truth on Hansen’s disease. The purpose of The Star is to: 1) Promote an educated public opinion of Hansen’s disease. 2.) Serve as advocate for those who have experienced or been impacted by Hansen’s disease. 3) Foster self-empowerment of those who have experienced Hansen’s disease.

Working together towards zero leprosy: join the partnership
Membership is open to all who are committed to zero leprosy and the partnership principles. See the current list of partnership members.

Global Partnership for Zero Leproy | www.zeroleprosy.org