Commemorate World Leprosy Day observed on 28 January
About World Leprosy
- The World Leprosy Day is observed internationally every year
on last Sunday of January month to raise global awareness of Leprosy.
- This year it was observed on 28 January.
- Observance of the day focuses on target of zero cases of leprosy-related
disabilities in children.
- On this day, organizations and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) hold public and educational outreach events where they
give people information about how to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Doctors and other medical professionals spend time talking
to the public about how to recognize the symptoms of leprosy.
- Organizations also hold rallies and marathons to raise money
for research and providing treatment and rehabilitate those afflicted with the
- In addition, seminars and workshops are held around the
world to address the problems faced by leprosy patients and to find ways to
reduce the social stigma faced by them.
- World Leprosy Day is not an official holiday so businesses,
schools and government offices are open.
- Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases known to humankind.
is also known as Hansen’s disease, named after Norwegian physician, Gerhard
Henrik Armauer Hansen, who debunked the prevailing notion of the time that
leprosy was a hereditary disease.
- He showed that the disease had a bacterial
- For thousands of years, people with leprosy have been
stigmatized and considered to be at the extreme margins of the society.
- The aim
of World Leprosy Day is to change this attitude and increase public awareness
of the fact that leprosy can now be easily prevented and cured.
- The date for World Leprosy Day was chosen to coincide with
the anniversary of Indian freedom fighter, Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on
January 30, 1948.
- During his lifetime, Mahatma Gandhi worked tirelessly towards
the betterment of people afflicted with leprosy.