GPZL’s three COVID-19 response working groups have:
- Chronicled and provided support for the urgent needs of National Leprosy Programmes, particularly for access to MDT and follow-up care.
- Advocated for access to comprehensive healthcare, social protection services, and humanitarian measures for persons affected by leprosy or Hansen’s Disease, and their families.
- Prepared GPZL for the post-pandemic global health landscape.
Working Group 1: Leprosy Emergency Operations Committee chaired by Ms. Arielle Cavaliero (Novartis) and Dr. Benedict Quao (Leprosy Program Manager, Ghana), included WHO’s Global Leprosy Program and others working directly in the supply chain for multi-drug therapy (MDT). This group addressed issues in the supply of drugs for the treatment of leprosy and leprosy reactions, and other forms of care such as wound care, disability care, and social care, and supported 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) spearheaded a global advocacy campaign so that no patients are left behind. This group worked with persons affected to gather information on their needs during the pandemic and share information about government and NGO responses to those needs.
Working Group 3: Post COVID-19 chaired by Mr. Geoff Warne (ILEP CEO) and Dr. Takahiro Nanri (Executive Director, Sasakawa Health Foundation), this group thought critically about future health scenarios and developed a path forward for the leprosy community in a post-COVID world.
For more information about these working groups, or for questions about GPZL’s COVID-19 strategy, please contact us.