In from September 19th to 22nd, the nineteenth international leprosy conference was held in Beijing. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the General Assembly, in which he pointed out that "creating a world free of leprosy" is the ultimate goal of global leprosy control. The theme of the conference is "Unfinished Business - Stopping Communication, Preventing Disability, Promoting Integration", which is of positive significance to the early realization of this goal.
Representatives from international organizations and non-governmental organizations, well-known experts, scholars and representatives from nearly 100 countries and regions, including China, the United States, India and Brazil, attended the meeting.
Leprosy is still spreading.
Leprosy has been prevalent in China for a long time. It was once a "flood animal" that endangered people's health. Discrimination against and fear of leprosy widely exist in people's ideology. Leprosy spread widely before the founding of the People's Republic of China because of the limited conditions and the lack of effective control measures. After the founding of New China, the leprosy control work in China, guided by the daily work principle of "prevention first", formulated the principle of "active prevention and control, control of infection", promulgated the leprosy prevention and control policies and regulations, based on the national conditions, formulated the leprosy control plan in stages, actively carried out the work of patient detection and treatment, and found that And cured a large number of patients.
At present, leprosy patients are mainly concentrated in low-and middle-income countries, which are facing tremendous pressure in the treatment of leprosy because of the weak medical system and lack of awareness of leprosy. Worldwide, the top three countries with leprosy are India, Indonesia and Brazil, which account for 85% of the world's leprosy population.
"In 2015, about 210,000 people worldwide were diagnosed with leprosy, equivalent to one person every two and a half minutes. One in every 11 new patients is a child, which means leprosy is still spreading. In some countries, people go to hospitals only when they have clinical symptoms, and their knowledge of leprosy is very poor. Even medical schools in some countries do not teach leprosy. Ann Aerts, president of the Novartis Foundation, told the Public Welfare Times that leprosy can lead to severe physical disabilities, with about 1.2 million people worldwide suffering from obvious physical disabilities caused by leprosy, and that the impact is irreversible and can be life-long.
According to the sponsors, leprosy epidemic is still serious in some remote ethnic minority areas in China, and local people's fear of leprosy, discrimination and prejudice against patients are still widespread; prevention and control work is lack of effective primary prevention measures, mainly relying on the detection and treatment of patients; new patients diagnosed with a longer delay, 2 disability ratio This indicates that early detection of cases should be strengthened. Compared with some advanced countries in the world, there is still a considerable gap in the basic research on leprosy in China, and many new technologies, new methods and new drugs need to be further developed and improved.
China's experience in prevention and control has been affirmed.
The International Leprosy Congress has a history of more than 100 years. This is the second time in China (China hosted the 15th International Leprosy Congress in September 1998), sponsored by the International Leprosy Association and sponsored by the Chinese Leprosy Prevention and Control Association. The theme of this session is "unfinished business - stop communication, prevent disability and promote integration".
At the conference, China's experience in the prevention and control of leprosy has been affirmed by all parties. Data released at the meeting showed that from 1949 to 2015, China had registered about 510,000 leprosy patients and nearly 400,000 cured. By the end of 2015, there were more than 3200 cases of leprosy in China, and 678 cases were newly registered nationwide this year. Countries (cities) as a unit, the prevalence rate is less than one thousandth of the World Health Organization to achieve the goal of leprosy as a public health problem (WHO is the country as a unit, China is a county (city) as a unit, the standard is more stringent).
Ann Aerts said China's experience in the prevention and treatment of leprosy is worth learning from other countries. "I think the medical staff in China have professional knowledge about leprosy and the public is more aware of leprosy, so leprosy patients in China have been well diagnosed and treated in the past few years."
"I think the effective way to eliminate the remaining leprosy patients in China is to strengthen surveillance, follow up contacts with leprosy patients, and provide preventive diagnosis and treatment," Ann Aerts said.
Blocking the spread of leprosy
Xi Jinping stressed that the cause of leprosy prevention and control in the world has made great achievements, but still has a long way to go, and still needs the unity and cooperation of the international community to overcome difficulties.
The prevention and control of leprosy requires not only the efforts of the government, but also the efforts of various social forces, including social organizations. The Novartis Foundation is a long-term commitment to the treatment and control of leprosy. This year, the Novartis Foundation promised to take part in the elimination of leprosy 30th anniversary. To date, Novartis has donated about $90 million worth of 56 million copies of drugs through the World Health Organization to treat more than 6 million leprosy patients worldwide. Over the past three years, the Novartis Foundation has increased its investment in leprosy treatment, including the promotion of early medical diagnosis and digital medicine.