ITC March 2018 meeting update

This meeting was held during a period in which there is much discussion about the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy, which was launched on World Leprosy Day in January this year.  It is expected tha

Report on the ITC meeting held in Colchester on Monday, March 19th, 2018

This meeting was held during a period in which there is much discussion about the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy, which was launched on World Leprosy Day in January this year.  It is expected that the ITC itself, and its individual members, will be quite involved in the functioning of the Partnership, but we await details of what this may mean in practice.

We continue to have a strong relationship with the Global Leprosy Program of WHO, and Dr Erwin Cooreman presented on their current activities, including a Program Managers’ meeting and the Technical Advisory Group meeting in Delhi in June.  An important exercise over the last few months has been the development of the first ever official WHO Guidelines on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of leprosy: the publication of the completed document is awaited.

A project that will be worked on over the next six months is the development of various indicators and statistics that will serve a number of functions.  While countries report patient data to WHO, ILEP reports on a number of programmatic indicators to the London Declaration process: Dr Wim van Brakel leads this work.  We have also been asked by ILEP members to put together statistics about leprosy, which can then be quoted by members in their communications with the public – previously, different figures may be quoted from different sources, so the goal is to have an agreed set of statistics giving the current status of our knowledge about leprosy around the world.  Dr Nimer Ortuno-Gutierrez has written the first draft of this paper, which should be finalized by the end of June.

Work and discussion about the participation of people affected by leprosy has been coordinated by Dr Michael Chen.  It is expected that a number of publications will appear in the next 12 months, describing experiences and best practices around the world in this area.  In a related development, the ILEP Stigma Guidelines, dating from 2011, will be revised by a group of ITC members and others.

  • for more information, please contact Paul Saunderson, chair of the ITC and Medical Director of American Leprosy Missions