All You Need to Know About World Leprosy Day: Date, Theme, History and Significance

Last Updated: January 28, 2023, 06:15 IST

Hansen’s disease or Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by slow-growing bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. (Representative image: Shutterstock)

Hansen’s disease or Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by slow-growing bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. (Representative image: Shutterstock)

World Leprosy Day 2023: The aim is to create awareness about a disease that still reports over 200 thousand people every year, according to the World Health Organization

WORLD LEPROSY DAY 2023: World Leprosy Day is observed on the fourth Sunday in January every year. The aim is to create awareness about a disease that still reports over 200 thousand people every year, according to the World Health Organization. Hansen’s disease or Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by slow-growing bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae.

(Representative image: Shutterstock)

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, the bacteria affect the nerves, skin, eyes, and lining of the nose. It is totally curable if the disease is diagnosed and treated early. Every year, WHO announces a theme in order to share the key messages surrounding that year. Here is all you need to know about World Leprosy Day 2023:

World Leprosy Day 2023: Theme

According to the official website of the World Health Organization, The theme for this year is “Act Now. End Leprosy.” There are three key messages this theme is aiming to call attention to. The WHO’s website has stated the following:

  1. Elimination is possible
    We have the power and tools to stop transmission and defeat this disease.
  2. Act now
    We need the resources and commitment to end leprosy. Prioritize leprosy elimination.
  3. Reach the unreached
    Leprosy is preventable and treatable. Suffering from leprosy is needless.

World Leprosy Day: History

In 1873, a Norwegian physician, Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen became the first person to identify the bacterium which was the principal bacteria that causes Leprosy. It is called Mycobacterium leprae.

In order to raise public awareness, the first World Leprosy Day was commemorated in 1954. It was all thanks to the French philanthropist Raoul Follereau who adopted the first Sunday of January every year to be marked as the day.

This year will mark the 69th World Leprosy Day to be observed around the world. India in particular marks this day on January 30, while most countries commemorate it on the fourth Sunday of January, which will be January 29, this year.

World Leprosy Day: Significance

The first and foremost reason why World Leprosy Day is marked is to raise awareness among the general public in order to eliminate social discrimination towards people who are afflicted with the condition. These prejudices need to be eliminated for patients to live with dignity. World Leprosy Day aims to create an environment of inclusivity.

The day also aims to spread awareness about the treatment for Leprosy. There are too many myths and misconceptions still surrounding the disease. A lot of patients either don’t have the means to access the treatment or do not have the knowledge about it.

The stigma makes it worse. Raising awareness will not only help people living with Leprosy receive an equal opportunity in society but also help them know how all they need to about the treatment of their condition.

Read all the Latest Lifestyle News here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *