Culion Foundation, Inc. (CFI), represented by its Executive Director, attended an international symposium entitled "Towards Holistic Care for People with Hansen’s Disease, Respectful of their Dignity" at the Vatican City on June 9 to 10, 2016. The symposium was organized by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, the Good Samaritan Foundation and the Nippon Foundation in cooperation with the Fondation Raoul Follereau, the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation. CFI is one of the organizations from the Philippines, together with the Coalition of Leprosy Advocates of the Philippines and the Philippine Leprosy Mission, to be invited to participate. The participants came up with three conclusions namely: every new case of Hansen’s disease is one case too many; every case of stigma and social exclusion is one case too many; and every law that discriminates against people affected by Hansen’s disease is one law too many. At the same time, recommendations also arose. The symposium also pointed out that the persons affected by Hansen’s disease must be seen as the major actors in eliminating leprosy and the discrimination attached to it.
Written and posted by: Ian Christopher Rocha (17 August 2016)