Find more content written by:  Pierre Bobin
  • Volume 71 , Number 4
  • Page: 355–6


Pierre Bobin

After reading the ILA Technical Forum report, many articles and editorials in specialized reviews, the latest Technical Bulletin from ILEP, the Resolution taken at the ILA Congress in Salvador (Brazil), e-mail exchanges from an anglophone discussion list (leprosy mailing list), and participating in debates at the latest International Congress on Leprosy and listening to leprosy experts and personnel « in the field », it is clear that a great difference exists in the opinion between many experts on one hand and, World Health Organization (WHO) on the other, about the analysis of the state of leprosy in the world and the measures that should be taken to control it. According to the vast majority of experts, WHO is untiringly carrying out its leprosy « elimination » policy, apparently convinced of being enlightened while, in fact, they are taking risks without basing newly elaborated strategies on a rigorous scientific method.

The split between WHO and ILEP, as well as the absence of dialogue among all partners involved (this could have taken place, for instance, during the ILA Technical Forum or during the International Leprosy Congress), are truly regrettable.

Most observers are divided between feelings of incomprehension and indignation. It therefore appears urgen t to hold a meeting with all partners involved in leprosy control to try and develop a consensus policy and broad strategies based upon rigorous criteria.

The current resurgence of certain great endemic diseases such as tuberculosis and trypanosomiasis, that were thought to be under control a few decades ago, should naturally incite us to be very cautious.


- Dr. Pierre Bobin

General Secretary,
Association of French Speaking Leprologists (ALLF)











The following editorial was first published in the Bulletin de l’ALLF (Review of French Speaking Leprologists Association) n. 12 February 2003.

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