Global Appeal 2012 to End Stigma and Discrimination Against People Affected by Leprosy

There are many myths and misconceptions about leprosy. As members of the medical profession, we have the first responsibility to set the record straight.

Leprosy is a mildly infectious disease. It is not spread by casual contact. It is curable with multidrug therapy that kills the bacteria and stops the disease from spreading. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment help prevent the onset of disability and deformity associated with leprosy. There are no medical grounds for isolating a person with the disease.

Yet people with leprosy continue to face social discrimination, even after they are cured. Whole families are marginalized, sometimes with devastating results.

Drugs can cure leprosy, but only greater public awareness can end the stigma it attracts.

Without the social stigma, more people would come forward for treatment. New cases would be detected sooner and be less likely to result in disability. The burden of leprosy in the world would be reduced.

We affirm the right of people affected by leprosy to receive treatment at any hospital. We call for an end to discrimination against them and their families. We support their right to live in dignity as full members of the community with equal access to opportunities and enjoying all their human rights.

Signatories of Global Appeal 2012

Dr. José Luiz Gomes do Amaral President, World Medical Association
Dr. Din Abazaj President, Order of Physicians of Albania
Dr. Peter W. Carmel President, American Medical Association
Dr. Steve Hambleton President, Australian Medical Association
Dr. Walter Dorner President, Austrian Medical Chamber
Dr. Nariman N. Safarli President, Azerbaijan Medical Association
Dr. Lemye Roland President, Association Belge des Syndicats Médicaux
Dr. Florentino de Araújo Cardoso Filho President, Associação Médica Brasileira
Dr. John Haggies President, Canadian Medical Association
Dr. Liu Yanfei Secretary General and Vice President, Chinese Medical Association
Dr. Sergio Isazadr Isaza President, Federación Médica Colombiana
Dr. Alexis Castillo Gutierrez President, Union Medica Nacional, Costa Rica
Dr. Aka Kroo President, Conseil national de l’ordre des medecins de la cote d’Ivoire
Dr. Mads Koch Hanse President, Danish Medical Association
Dr. A.C. Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman President, Royal Dutch Medical Association
Dr. José Ramón Huerta Blanco President, Consejo General de Colegios Médicos de España (Soria)
Dr. Timo Kaukonen President, Finnish Medical Association
Dr. Xavier Deau Vice President, French Medical Association
Dr. Gia Lobzhanidzes President, Georgian Medical Association
Dr. Frank Ulrich Montgomery President, German Medical Association
Dr. Carlos Amilcar Gómez Secretary, Guatemala Medical Association
Dr. Claude Surena President, Association Médicale Haitienne
Dr. José Manuel Espinal President, Honduras Medical Association
Dr. Choi Kin President, Hong Kong Medical Association
Dr. Margrét Aðalsteinsdóttir President, Icelandic Medical Association
Dr. Vinay Aggarwal President, Indian Medical Association
Dr. Prijo Sidipratomo President, Indonesian Medical Association
Mr. George McNeice Chief Executive Officer, Irish Medical Organisation
Dr. Leonid Eidelman President, Israel Medical Association
Dr. Katsuyuki Haranaka President, Japan Medical Association
Dr. Aizhan Sadykova President, Kazakhstan Medical Association
Dr. Man Ho Kyung President, Korean Medical Association
Dr. Peteris Apinis President, Latvian Medical Association
Prof. Jovan Tofoski President, Macedonian Medical Association
Dr. Ramón Murrieta Gonzalez President, Colegio Medico de Mexico
Dr. Rosel Salomao President, Mozambican Medical Association
Dr. Kiran Prasad Shrestha President, Nepal Medical Association
Dr. Paul Ockelford President, New Zealand Medical Association
Dr. Pablo Emilio Mongalo President, Nicaragua Medical Association
Dr. Hege Gjessing President, Norwegian Medical Association
Dr. Lili Espino Weng Vice President, Asociacion Médica Nacional de Panama
Dr. Carmen Fajardo Vice President, Colegio Médico del Perú
Dr. Maciej Hamankiewicz President, Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists
Dr. José Manuel Silva President, Portuguese Medical Association
Prof. Peter Kristufek President, Slovak Medical Association
Dr. Marie Wedins President, Swedish Medical Association
Dr. Ming-Been Lee President, Taiwan Medical Association
Dr. Namala P. Mkopi President, Tanzania Medical Association
Dr. Jongjate Aojanepong President, Medical Association of Thailand
Dr. Martín Rebella President, Sindicato Médico del Uruguay
Prof. Abdulla Khydaybergenov President, Medical Association of Uzbekistan