“It is a great time to be doing leprosy research,” said Bill Simmons, Chair of the Leadership Team of the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy (GPZL).
Simmons spoke at the 21st International Leprosy Congress plenary session, “Money Matters: Priorities in funding leprosy research” on 10 November 2022 in Hyderabad, India.
During the session, audience members were surveyed about their funding applications and awards received for their leprosy research work.
Leprosy Research Funding Data
Then, leaders of several organizations that fund leprosy research, including Suzan Trienekens of the Leprosy Research Initiative (LRI), Linda Hummel of NLR, Stefanie Weiland of American Leprosy Missions, Anna Giné of Anesvad Foundation, and Takahiro Nanri of Sasakawa Health Foundation, shared their organizations’ contributions to leprosy research funding in the table below.
“Researchers and public health workers often wonder, is there anybody out there who is interested in my idea?” said Simmons. “After hearing today’s presentations and seeing the numbers, it appears the answer is yes.”
The organizations included in the table are only a selection of those that make up the leprosy research funding landscape. Other international and national NGOs and institutions also contribute much-needed funding for leprosy research. But making funding available is only the beginning. Simmons emphasized the importance of connecting the funder to the researcher, which, he said, should be a part of any country’s Zero Leprosy Roadmap.
Simmons shared that the questions we must answer to reach zero leprosy are reflected in the priorities of the Zero Leprosy Research Agenda. “Reaching zero takes more than just the priorities,” he added. “It also takes great researchers and health workers like so many of you.”
Simmons suggested that GPZL conduct a similar survey annually to ensure that everyone can see the scope of funding in the leprosy research community. GPZL plans to publish an updated table showing the leprosy research funding landscape in 2023.