State Counsellor calls for right attitude towards leprosy patients to end discrimination against them
The National Leprosy Conference was held at the Myanmar International Convention Centre-II in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, with the motto ‘join hands to stop discrimination’. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gave the opening speech at the conference.
DawAung San SuuKyi said efforts to eradicate discrimination against leprosy patients and their families should be given a top priority in combating the disease in Myanmar.
She stressed the need to step up efforts for dissemination of knowledge on leprosy among the people so that people have the right attitude towards leprosy patients, as the country is seeing discrimination against patients and their families and wrong attitudes have impacted the daily life of patients.
Efforts should be made to integrate leprosy patients and their families into the community by disseminating knowledge about how leprosy spreads, said the State Counsellor.
Having the right attitude towards leprosy patients is very important because discrimination against patients has led to hindrances in new patients coming forward, patients’ completing their full course of treatment, and prevention of infection, she added.
The State Counsellor has called on officials responsible for fighting leprosy to work together with the Ministry of Health and Sports, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement to integrate the leprosy patients and their families towards the community and to be treated without discrimination by the public.
She also stressed the need to include the knowledge on leprosy in the civic courses to help the people have the right attitude to the patients.
In conclusion, the State Counsellor expressed thanks to officials concerned, Sasakawa Foundation, Nippon Foundation and local and foreign organizations for their towards holding the conference.
Afterwards, the State Counsellor and attendees of the conference had documentary photos taken and viewed the documentary photos displayed at the ceremony.
Also present at the opening ceremony of the conference were Union Ministers U Kyaw Tint Swe, Dr. PeMyint, U Min Thu, Dr. Myint Htwe and U Kyaw Tin, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman Dr. Myo Aung, Chief Minister of Mandalay Region Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, Deputy Minister U Set Aung and Dr. Mya Lay Sein, Permanent Secretaries, the President of the Nippon Foundation, MPs, ministers from region and state cabinets, experts for leprosy disease, representatives of the health related organizations.
Following the opening ceremony, the conference was held with opening remarks by Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr. Myint Htwe, Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar Mr. Ichiro Maruyama and President of the Nippon Foundation Mr. Yohei Sasakawa.
Permanent Secretary Dr. Thar Tun Kyaw and Dr. Erwin Cooreman of the World Health Organization discussed the current situation of leprosy and control of the disease and global challenges.
In the afternoon, a press conference was held and Permanent Secretary Prof. Dr Thet Khaing Win, President of the Nippon Foundation Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Dr. Tin Shwe from the Leprosy Mission from the US, Dr. Kyaw Nyunt Sein, member of the Leprosy advisory experts group, Dr. Erwin Cooreman of the WHO, Dr. Chan Tun Aung, Manager of the Leprosy Fighting Programme, met with the press.
A panel discussion under the title “No discrimination against the leprosy patients” was led by Dr. Maung Maung Kyi, Retired Superintendent of Yenanthar Leprosy Hospital in Madara. Daw Thida, U Soe Win, Daw Thida Myint and U Hla Htay participated in the discussions.
Following this, a panel discussion under the title “Join our hands to improve the control of the leprosy” was held and Dr. Thandar Lwin, Deputy Director-General of the Public Health, and leprosy specialists participated in the discussions.
The conference continued today and it will release the Nay Pyi Taw declaration.