Leprosy elimination

Partners and donors

The tremendous success of elimination efforts over recent years reflects the close partnership that continues to exist between WHO and national programmes, donors and NGOs.


WHO main operational partners are the national programmes in those countries endemic with the disease, reflecting the mandate given to the organization by its member states in 1991, when the WHA resolution called for the elimination of leprosy as a public health problem.

WHO collaborates closely with its sister UN agencies such as the World Bank, UNICEF, UNHCR and UNDP where these agencies are working with or funding initiatives and activities of national programmes for eliminating leprosy.

WHO also collaborates closely with international and national NGOs working in partnership with national programmes. These NGOs receive free MDT drugs from WHO through their host governments of the countries in which they operate.


The two most notable donors to WHO's elimination efforts over recent years have been The Nippon Foundation (TNF) of Japan, and the pharmaceutical company Novartis. Both donors have generously funded the supply and shipment of essential MDT drugs and the management of key operational activities within WHO relating to the elimination of leprosy.