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Disease Prevention and Control / Communicable Diseases / Leprosy

Tribute Paid to Doctor Diltor Vladimir Arajo Opromolla, Symbol of the Fight against Hansen's Disease

(Expoepi, Brasilia, 23 November 2004)

Dr. Opromolla

Diltor Vladimir Arajo Opromolla is one of the great names linked to the fight against and control of Hansen's disease (leprosy) in Brazil and throughout the world. A graduate of medicine from the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) of So Paulo, he began his activities at the Lauro de Souza Lima Institute (ILSL) in Bauru in 1959. He has published several works on the disease. The research he has conducted in this area put his name and that of the Institute on the world map. Today, the ILSL is both a national and international point of reference in the treatment of dermatological diseases in general and of Hansen's disease in particular.

In 2004, the Brazilian Ministry of Health paid tribute to Dr. Opromolla for his contributions to both the country and the world for the discovery of a cure against Hansen's disease. He has also contributed much in the area of human-resource development. At the forefront of coordinating the Medical Residence Program at the ILSL—a position that he holds even today, despite his retirement in April 2004—he defends their investment in information and in upholding research. For this, the two aforementioned factors guarantee the training of skilled professionals and, as a result, improvement of quality of life for patients. Dr. Opromolla has also contributed greatly to the fight against prejudice with regard to Hansen's disease, which still persists in society due the fact that effective treatment was only discovered as late as 1946.

Among the positions he has held, noteworthy is that of Consultant to the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization. He has represented Brazil in international conferences and was President of the Regional Chapter for Latin America of the International Leprosy Association, the Brazilian Association of Leprosy Studies (Hansenology), and of the College of Hansenology of the endemic countries.

At this 4th Expoepi, we invite Dr. Diltor Vladimir Arajo Opromolla, to receive this plaque, handed over by Dr. Horacio Toro Ocampo, PAHO/WHO Representative in Brazil.

PAHO Leprosy Page