Commemorate World Leprosy Day observed on 28 January

Highlights:

  • 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 disease.
  • 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.
About World Leprosy Day:
  • Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases known to humankind. 
  • It 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 cause instead. 
  • 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.