Learn why this is the time for action against leprosy.

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Leprosy, also known as leprosy, is one of the oldest diseases in the world. Before it was known that leprosy was caused by a bacterial infection, it was sometimes considered a divine punishment or curse. People affected by this had to face discrimination. World Leprosy Day was celebrated every year solely for awareness of this disease. Let us know what the World Health Organization says about this disease.

Why is World Leprosy Day celebrated?

According to the World Health Organization, World Leprosy Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of January. The French journalist Raoul Folreau began to celebrate this day in 1954 for the treatment of people affected by this disease and to make people aware of this disease. It is celebrated all over the world on January 29. But in India it is celebrated on the 30th of January. This day also marks the anniversary of the death of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

World Leprosy Day theme

This year, International Leprosy Day emphasizes raising awareness about this disease. That is why this year the theme of World Leprosy Day 2023 is Act now.

Why was leprosy called Hansen’s disease?

This year also marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Norwegian physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen on February 28, 1873. It was he who discovered the causative agent of leprosy, M. Leprae. Therefore, it was formerly known as Hansen’s disease. Dr. Hansen explained that leprosy is caused by a bacterial infection.

What part of the body is the most affected?

The disease mainly affects the skin, peripheral nerves, mucous membranes, and eyes. It can be cured using a combination of drugs called multidrug therapy, introduced in the 1980s. If left untreated, it can lead to disability.

myths about leprosy

Myths and misconceptions about this disease still persist. People with leprosy in different parts of the world may feel isolated from society, family and friends. In some countries, outdated laws still apply that deny them access to public facilities.

There are many myths about leprosy that everyone should know about. Image: Adobe Stock

In some places, leprosy is still a reason for divorce or dismissal. If you make an effort to learn the facts about this disease and share your knowledge, you can help create a world free of the problems associated with the disease.

The effect of Kovid on most leprosy patients

Three years ago, in March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic. Measures such as lockdowns and other restrictions implemented by governments around the world have had a huge impact, especially on vulnerable communities such as those affected by leprosy. Many of them were already living in difficult circumstances. Because of this, many people not only lost their livelihood, but were also unable to receive treatment for the disease or its side effects.

leprosy is curable

According to the World Health Organization, leprosy is at least 4,000 years old, making it one of the oldest known diseases. The World Health Organization aims to make leprosy zero in 120 countries by 2030. Leprosy is preventable and treatable. Only awareness is necessary.

Now leprosy is curable. Medicines are available. Image: Adobe Stock

Leprosy can be treated with a combination of antibiotics called multidrug therapy (MDT). This treatment is available free of charge all over the world. If leprosy is not treated, it can lead to serious complications.

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