I was honored and delighted recently when I learned that my English-language book on my life’s pursuit of a leprosy-free world was reviewed in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, a specialty journal published by The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most authoritative medical journals.
No Matter Where the Journey Takes Me: One Man’s Quest for a Leprosy-Free World (Hurst Publishing, 2019), was first reviewed in Nature, another prestigious scientific journal, in March last year.
The review in The Lancet Infectious Diseases by Mr. Vijay Shankar Balakrishnan, published online on February 18, 2020, said the author “goes to great lengths to describe not only his own journey from travelling with his father (Ryoichi) to leprosariums, but also his experience of being a Goodwill Ambassador of WHO for leprosy elimination.”
“Ever since his childhood, young Yohei witnessed his father touching and embracing people with leprosy,” the review went on, adding: “This touch was both a scientific and a social message that these infected people were to be treated in a humane way and that leprosy does not spread through touch as people often fret; a mood that Yohei Sasakawa vividly carries throughout the book.”
As the reviewer suggests, my hope is that the book “will inspire other people to take to heart the plea of individuals with leprosy who are still experiencing stigma in their countries.”
The review comes after an event in New Delhi on January 30 this year to mark the launch of the book in India, which accounts for about 60% of the more than 200,000 new cases of leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, reported to WHO each year.
No Matter Where the Journey Takes Me is an English translation of my 2014 Japanese publication Zanshin, updated and with additional information on recent global developments in the fight against leprosy.
For those who are interested, you can read the review HERE.