Leprosy elimination

The Nippon Foundation (TNF)

The Nippon Foundation (TNF) of Japan, together with its related agency, the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation (SMHF) has been a long standing donor to the WHO leprosy programme for many years.

Contributions from The Nippon Foundation and the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation have played a decisive role in leprosy elimination. They enabled WHO to provide free MDT treatment to leprosy patients in 85 countries from 1995 – 1999 as well as to finance special programmes and field activities.

In the five year period 1995-1999, a donation of US$50 million was donated to WHO, for the purchase of MDT drugs. TNF also covered the cost of independent laboratory testing, and airfreight and insurance costs of shipping the MDT to designated ports of entry in endemic countries.

In 2000, The Nippon Foundation pledged to contribute a further USD 24 million to WHO to assist in the implementation of the focused elimination strategy over the six year period to 2006.

Yohei Sasakawa, chairman of TNF, is WHO's Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination.