HL Deb 19 March 1970 vol 308 cc1324-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Bearing in mind their responsibility through the Governing Councils, and the decision that receiving countries should be able to ask for the kind of health programme that they want,

  1. (a) What will be their contribution towards the provision of 520,000 dollars by the World Health Organisation on operational activities specifically related to leprosy in 1971;
  2. (b) Which countries, within their health programme, receive or have sought aid or assistance for leprosy control or research; and
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  4. (c) Whether they would use their influence, within the Governing Councils, for a policy to be enunciated which would extend the amount of leprosy control and research being carried out throughout the world.


The provision in the 1971 regular budget of the World Health Organisation for schemes concerned with leprosy is part of the total budget of 73,230,000 dollars, towards which Her Majesty's Government will contribute about 5.95 per cent. Other operational activities will be financed from the United Nations Development Programme and the Special Account for the Leprosy Programme.

In past years more than 60 countries have received aid from the World Health Organisation for leprosy control. The budgets for 1970 and 1971 include country programmes in Afghanistan, Argentina, Bolivia, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, Chile, China (Taiwan), Eucador, India, Republic of Korea, Laos, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Ryukyu Islands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, Thailand, United Arab Republic, Uruguay, Republic of Vietnam and Yemen. In addition the World Health Organisation operates a number of inter-country and interregional programmes, and research programmes.

Apart from the work done by the World Health Organisation, the Ministry of Overseas Development support two leprosy research projects from their Medical Research Vote, one in Uganda and one in Malaysia, and I understand that they would be prepared to consider the possibility of supporting other schemes submitted by overseas countries.

Leprosy problems are recognised by the World Health Organisation as important, and the national and international activities in this field, as reflected in the programme and budget forecasts of the Director General, are reviewed each year. The prevention and control of leprosy, as with many other diseases, require the raising of the general standard of living of the affected population and the extension of better health services for diagnosis and treatment. The balanced approach adopted by the World Health Organisation to these problems recognises the need to do more in the field of leprosy, and has the full support of Her Majesty's Government.