‘Towards Holistic Care for People with Hansen’s Disease, Respectful of their Dignity’ is the theme of the international symposium that will be held on 9-
This symposium has been organised by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, together with the Good Samaritan Foundation and the Nippon Foundation, in cooperation with the Raoul Follereau Foundation, the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation.
As is made clear by the title, this international symposium addresses leprosy, which continues to have dramatic consequences for those people who are afflicted by it, even though today this disease is curable. Amongst the enormous difficulties that people afflicted by this disease – who number about 200,000 every year – have to face up to, even when they have been cured of it, are those connected with the myths and erroneous perceptions that cause them to endure prejudices and social stigmas and impede their reintegration into various social contexts, the world of work, and the fields of studies and training.
This international symposium on ‘Towards Holistic Care for People with Hansen’s Disease, Respectful of their Dignity’ thus constitutes an opportunity to generate greater general awareness about leprosy and its medical and social consequences, as well as to create a space where lessons can be drawn from the experience of people afflicted by this disease and their family relatives. Indeed, the challenges are manifold: to increase prevention and information, to reduce the burden of the disease, to help people who are afflicted with it and their families, and to manage to reintegrate them into society.
This international symposium, in which about two hundred people from many countries of the world will take part, has been organised by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers as part of the preparations for the Jubilee of the Sick and the Disabled which will be held on Sunday, 12 June 2016, in St. Peter’s.
As regards the programme of this international symposium, Thursday 9 June will witness papers by – amongst others – H.E. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation and World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination; Beatrice Lorenzin, the Italian Minister of Health; and H.E. Armindo F. Do Espirito Santo Vieira, the Ambassador of the Republic of Angola to the Holy See. On Friday 10 June there will be the testimonies of associations, NGOs and organisations of people afflicted by leprosy. A special attention, on the second day of the symposium, will be moreover paid to what is a traditional appointment of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers – the inter-
Rome, 3 June 2016