Redresser les erreurs de la lèpre

TOKYO – Lors de sa 15ème session qui s’est conclue début octobre, le Conseil des Nations Unies pour les droits de l’homme a adopté une résolution encourageant les gouvernements à éliminer toute forme de discrimination contre les personnes atteintes de la lèpre ainsi que contre les membres de leur famille. En tant qu’Ambassadeur de bonne volonté de l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé pour l’élimination de la lèpre, j’œuvre depuis fort longtemps pour cela.

La lèpre est la plus ancienne maladie au monde. Elle a une dimension physique, mais aussi sociale et psychologique. Aucun traitement n’avait pu être découvert pendant des siècles. Ce ne fut qu’à la fin du vingtième siècle qu’une chimiothérapie réellement efficace a été développée. Depuis l’introduction de la thérapie multiple au début des années 80, 16 millions de personnes ont pu être soignées dans le monde. La lèpre n’est plus considérée comme un problème de santé publique dans la presque totalité des pays du monde.

Diagnostiquée et traitée rapidement, la lèpre ne laisse aucune trace. Ce n’est que lorsque elle n’est pas traitée que les dommages causés aux nerfs périphériques entrainent la perte de sensation et provoquent les ulcération et les plaies.

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