The COVID-19 pandemic has strongly impacted leprosy control and prevention, and in response, GPZL has established three working groups to address the leprosy community’s key challenges during the global health crisis, and spearhead emergency response.
GPZL’s three COVID-19 response working groups are:
- Chronicling and providing support for the urgent needs of National Leprosy Programmes, particularly for access to MDT and follow-up care.
- Advocating for access to comprehensive healthcare, social protection services and humanitarian measures for persons affected by leprosy or Hansen’s Disease, and their families.
- Preparing GPZL for the post-pandemic global health landscape.
This webpage will share information about the progress of these working groups, as well as other guidance, news, and useful information from our partners.
Advice about leprosy and COVID-19:
Advice about leprosy and COVID-19 from the WHO Global Leprosy Programme, ILEP, UN Special Rapporteur Alice Cruz, and the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy. Includes guidance on diagnosis and clinical management of leprosy patients, public health aspects of leprosy in the COVID-19 pandemic, and services for persons living with disabilities and/or psychosocial consequences of leprosy.
Working Group 1: Leprosy Emergency Operations Committee chaired by Ms. Arielle Cavaliero (Novartis) and Dr. Benedict Quao (Leprosy Program Manager, Ghana), and will include WHO’s Global Leprosy Program and others working directly in the supply chain for multi-drug therapy (MDT). This group is addressing and resolving issues in supply of drugs for treatment of leprosy and leprosy reactions, and other forms of care such as wound care, disability care, and social care, and supporting the work of National Leprosy Programmes.
Working Group 2: Emergency Advocacy for Persons Affected chaired by Dr. Alice Cruz (U.N. Rapporteur for Persons Affected and their Families) and Mr. Amar Timulsina (President of IDEA Nepal) is spearheading a global advocacy campaign so that no patients are left behind. This group is working with persons affected organizations and individuals to gather perspectives on their needs and challenges during the COVID-19 health crisis, and is connecting that information with key stakeholders.
Working Group 3: Post COVID-19 chaired by Mr. Geoff Warne (ILEP CEO) and Dr. Takahiro Nanri (Executive Director, Sasakawa Health Foundation), is working to develop modeling to inform future health scenarios, policy for a post-COVID world, is linking leprosy to new funding for health system strengthening, and engaging with other disease and advocacy groups.
For more information about these work groups, or for questions about GPZL’s COVID-19 strategy, please contact us.