October 2018
Each month, we share our progress, next steps, and profiles of the people involved in the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy. To learn more about the partnership, please visit our website .
Leaders Come Together to Transform Action Towards Zero Leprosy
Leadership Team Meeting Brussels 2018
The partnership’s leadership team met in Brussels this month to discuss the action needed to move toward zero leprosy. Along with the Research Agenda Working Group, the Operational Excellence Working Group will launch this year. Its goal is to assess and build country capacity through an assessment, visioning road map and robust toolkit. The partnership’s country-based model will bring new capacities, funding and hope to national leprosy programmes and share best practices among them.

Many leaders and partners agreed to structure and align their organization’s work around the partnership. The Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy will work closely with WHO, among other partners, to ensure work is aligned in countries. The leaders jointly agreed on an Action Framework, which describes the partnership’s goals through 2025. Based on feedback from the leadership meeting, the framework will be updated by next month.
Welcome to Alice Cruz, UN Special Rapporteur
Alice Cruz
We welcome Alice Cruz, UN Special Rapporteur, to the leadership team as an observer. Her human rights approach will assist our goal of addressing issues of stigma and discrimination of persons affected by leprosy, their families, and their communities.

Working Groups: Progress and Updates
Research Agenda Working Group
The Research Agenda Working Group continues to make progress toward an aligned research agenda that will contribute to zero leprosy. Sub-groups have been meeting via conference calls and are beginning work on reports. Research facilitators and advisors are presenting at multiple sessions at the COR-NTD meeting this week. With feedback from COR-NTD, a research agenda will be drafted in November. A final agenda is expected by the end of 2018.

Operational Excellence Working Group
Facilitators and advisors are currently being appointed for this group, particularly national programme managers and persons affected by leprosy. An open call for participants will take place in November. Please watch for the announcements.

Next steps for 2019

This group will work closely with national programme managers to assess countries' opportunities, challenges and capacities to implement tools towards zero leprosy. Best practices and strategies from the Operational Excellence Working Group will be transformed into a Toolkit for National Capacity Building for Zero Leprosy. The toolkit is expected to be piloted in three countries in 2019. 
Meeting Princess Astrid of Belgium
Courtenay meeting Princess Astrid
During our Brussels visit, we were honored to meet Princess Astrid of Belgium, and discuss the work of the partnership. Many thanks to Damien Foundation and ILEP for hosting the event. (Photo credit: Björn Comhaire for Damien Foundation)
Membership is growing!
Our partnership continues to grow. See the current list of partnership members. Membership is open to all who are committed to zero leprosy and the partnership principles.

Current and Upcoming Events
SEARO National Leprosy Programme Managers Meeting (NLPM)
24-25 Oct 2018 | Colombo, Sri Lanka
Hosted by WHO SEARO’s NTD unit, NLPM is organized once in two years and national programme managers will present leprosy statistics, innovations undertaken and challenges faced in implementing leprosy activities.

2018 COR-NTD Meeting
26 Oct - 27 Oct 2018 | New Orleans, Louisiana
This year's 2018 COR-NTD Meeting's theme is “Engage to Eliminate.” A discussion panel will present initial recommendations from the Research Agenda Working Group and seek input from the COR-NTD research community on its framework.

15th Brazilian Congress of Hansenology
13-17 Nov 2018 | Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil
The 15th Brazilian Congress of Hansenology is a special edition of the SBH congresses, and this year the Brazilian Society of Hansenology (Sociedade Brasileira de Hansenologia) is celebrating 70 years. Programming includes discussions with colleagues from SBH’s areas of expertise, especially infectology and neurology, as well as rheumatology. 

Our online calendar lists global leprosy events and meetings. Are you hosting a meeting related to leprosy? Let us know by completing the contact form .
Global Partnership for Zero Leproy | www.zeroleprosy.org