Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation
Founded in 1974, Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation is active in three main areas: Hansen’s disease—empowering individuals and communities to overcome the stigma of a discriminatory disease; hospice and palliative care—helping patients and their families to cope with end-of-life issues, debilitating medical conditions and diseases of aging; and public health—improving the health of populations through support for training, innovation and research, and engaging in medical/health cooperation.
From its inception, Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation has dedicated itself to the goal of a world without Hansen’s disease. Over the years, they have worked closely with the national Hansen’s disease control programs of endemic countries, helping to strengthen their capabilities to diagnose and treat the disease. As new cases have declined, their focus has shifted to assisting people affected by Hansen’s disease in their efforts to overcome the social stigma the disease attracts, reintegrate into society and achieve economic independence. Most recently, they have been promoting efforts to preserve the history of Hansen’s disease, including society’s response, so that important lessons about human rights can be passed to succeeding generations.
Since 1998 they have been running a program focused on promoting research and human-resources training in hospice and palliative care, which has a relatively recent history in Japan compared to Western countries. They support networks of doctors and nurses working in this field and seek to instill in the public a better understanding of end-of-life care. In 2014, against the backdrop of Japan’s hyper-aging society, we started a program for Start-Up and Operation of The Nippon Foundation Home-Care Nursing
Centers to train nurses to run nursing stations that dispatch nurses to tend to patients with special needs at home. Their goal is to make holistic, palliative care programs accessible to all individuals confronting illness and infirmity.
They are dedicated to supporting initiatives that enhance the quality of life of people around the world through human resource development in healthcare. As part of their efforts, they recognize individuals and organizations who contribute to public health improvements with the Sasakawa Health Prize, which has been presented at the World Health Assembly in Geneva each year since 1985. They also fund the FAPA Ishidate Award, a biennial award for Asian pharmacists initiated in 1986 named after our founding chair, Prof. Morizo Ishidate. Other SMHF activities include overseas field study tours for health professionals and disaster relief study tours for university and college students.See more