WHO Sasakawa Health Prize Award Ceremony

Geneva, Switzerland

In response to the WHO’s Health for All initiative, the Sasakawa Health Prize was established in 1984. Marking its 30th year, the prize continues to pursue its mission of recognizing unique and innovative work in primary health care. It is hoped that this will encourage further advancement in this field.

I wish to convey my deep appreciation to the selection panel for your understanding of what the prize is aiming for and your careful consideration in selecting the winner.

This year, the Sasakawa Health Prize goes to the Leprosy Control Foundation, Inc./Dominican Institute of Dermatology and Skin Surgery “Dr. Hubert Bogaert Diaz” known as IDCP, for their 50 years of outstanding work in reducing the rate of incidences of leprosy in the Dominican Republic.

The IDCP’s decentralized approach encourages community participation. This promotes local decision-making and empowers caregivers, enabling early diagnosis and treatment. As WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, I am most grateful for the enormous contribution they have made in the global fight against leprosy for the past 50 years.

In addition to their leprosy-related services, IDCP now provides integrated specialized care for dermatological conditions as well as transmittable diseases. Their newest initiative is a pilot project called “Embrace of Solidarity” that aims to improve pediatric services to children affected by various skin diseases by extending coverage and reducing treatment gaps. We are delighted that proceeds of the Sasakawa Prize will be used to drive this new project forward.

We are honored to support an organization that has dedicated over half a century to delivering quality medical care, especially to individuals in vulnerable circumstances. And through the Sasakawa Prize, we hope to continue supporting such remarkable initiatives around the world.

Thank you.