Leprosy is an age-old disease that has maimed, ostracized and isolated so many – especially the most vulnerable.
We have seen important progress over the past decades. Millions of patients have been cured.
But we need stepped-up efforts.
As you highlight today, we must also work to end stigma and discrimination against people affected by leprosy.
We know these harmful attitudes force many people to keep the disease hidden and delay early access to care.
The world has set a goal for zero leprosy-related disabilities in girls and boys by 2020. We must also work to ensure universal health coverage.
Your efforts are an important contribution to reaching our shared goals and leaving no one behind.
Thank you. You have my full support.