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photo collage, leprosy, OPAS-BRA Iguaz˙ project

The Yangon Declaration

(Third Meeting of the Global Alliance for the Elimination of Leprosy;
Yangon, Myanmar, 8 February 2003)

We, the participants of the Third Meeting of the Global Alliance for the Elimination of Leprosy (GAEL), convened at the initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Yangon, Union of Myanmar, from 6–8 February 2003, under the auspices of the Minister of Health, Union of Myanmar:

  1. Express appreciation to the Government of the Union of Myanmar for their hospitality and generous support to the meeting.
  2. Recall that significant initiative was given to leprosy elimination efforts with the 1991 World Health Assembly Resolution (WHA44.9), in attaining the goal of eliminating leprosy as a public health problem, at the global level at the end of the year 2000.
  3. Reaffirm that the global strategy based on applying the public health approach, including fully integrating treatment services within the basic health sciences and changing the negative image is the best way to substantially achieve the elimination of leprosy.
  4. Endorse the Strategic Plan for 2003-2005 and the timetable to achieve and sustain elimination in all endemic countries and emphasize the need to accelerate the process by integrating specialized leprosy-specific structures and provide leprosy services to all communities through the existing general health services.
  5. Note that today leprosy remains a public health problem in only 12 out of 122 countries listed as endemic in 1985. It is hoped that the remaining Countries will achieve the elimination targets on time. The goal to achieve elimination by all countries by the year 2005 may be missed by some countries. Special efforts should be made to assist them in reaching the target.
  6. Congratulate the Government of the Union of Myanmar for showing a shining example by effectively applying the global strategy and reaching the national goal of elimination in a most cost-effective manner.
  7. Note with gratitude the efforts of the Special Ambassador to GAEL in advocating for leprosy elimination with national authorities of several endemic countries and maintaining the momentum of the final push towards elimination.
  8. Acknowledge that despite the significant progress made so far, access to services among underserved populations, particularly for underprivileged groups and women, is still unsatisfactory in many endemic countries.
  9. Appreciate the efforts made by major endemic countries in the integration of leprosy services.
  10. Appreciate the contribution of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and Scientific Working Group for Elimination of Leprosy for their technical guidance and practical advice to the program.
  11. Reaffirm that the members of the Global Alliance for the Elimination of Leprosy will continue to collaborate with the recommendations of this meeting, particularly at the country level, in order to eliminate leprosy as a public health problem from every country by the year 2005.

Information on the Global Alliance and other aspects of the fight against leprosy: see
WHO Resource Page for Elimination of Leprosy

Fifth Meeting of the WHO Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Elimination of Leprosy
(Yangon, Myanmar, 9–10 February 2003)

Leprosy in Brazil: Epidemiology and Social Aspects (PowerPoint presentation)

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
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