World Leprosy Day 2017 Theme International Leprosy day Information

World Leprosy Eradication Day 30 January

World Leprosy Day is observed internationally on January 30 or its nearest Sunday to increase the public awareness of the Leprosy or Hansen's Disease. This day was chosen in commemoration of the death of Gandhi, the leader of India who understood the importance of leprosy. Leprosy is one of the oldest recorded diseases in the world. It is an infectious chronic disease that targets the nervous system, especially the nerves in the cooler parts of the body - the hands, feet, and face.

What causes leprosy?

A germ, or bacteria, called Mycobacterium leprae causes an infection that affects the skin, destroys nerves and can also cause problems in the eyes and nose.

What are the signs of leprosy?

  1. Spots on the skin that may be slightly red, darker or lighter than normal skin.
  2. The spots may also become numb and even lead to loss of hair on the affected part of the skin.
  3. Numbness in hand, finger or toe resulting in muscle paralysis 
  4. Loss  of blinking reflex of the eye; this may lead to dryness, ulceration and even blindness
  5. Deformity  and crippling may be caused at the last stage of the disease

Commemorate World Leprosy Day

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.

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.

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