The Basel-based life sciences group Novartis has pledged to donate about $30 million in medication to cure all the leprosy patients in the world detected over the next six years.This content was published on November 15, 1999 - 16:50
The Basel-based life sciences group Novartis has pledged to donate about $30 million in medication to cure all the leprosy patients in the world detected over the next six years.
This is the company’s contribution to the Global Alliance, announced Monday, by the Geneva-based World Health Organisation. The programme aims to eliminate leprosy as a public health problem from every country by the year 2005.
“For centuries leprosy has plagued mankind, mutilating people who are then often discriminated or even excluded by society. So much suffering results from this disease, but early treatment can prevent its disfiguring and crippling effects and achieve cure, “ said Daniel Vassella, chairman and chief executive of Novartis.
The Global Alliance and its partners aim to detect and cure the esatimate 2.5-2.8 million leprosy sufferers by the end of 2005, thus achieving elimination of the disease.
Efforts will focus on detecting all cases by generating and meeting demand for free treatment through improving awareness and access.
Over the past 15 years, an estimated ten million people have been cured of leprosy and the disease has been eliminated from 98 endemic countries. The aim of the Global Alliance is to send leprosy into the history books.
“We are grateful for the strong support of our partners, both old and new, in the final years of the fight against leprosy. Let us join hands and make a final push to consign a dreaded disease to history,” said WHO director-general Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway.
The WHO will further intensify its work in guiding and monitoring field operations, while verifying the implementation of the Global Alliance’s strategy.
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