World Leprosy Day 2024

Zaid Siddiqui

, News

World Leprosy Day is a worldwide event celebrated on the every last Sunday of January. This day brings various information about leprosy disease and gives us an understanding of its prevalence. On 30th January, this day is going to stoke the fire of awareness among people from different parts of the world. This day might be a golden opportunity to lift the voices of those who are suffering from leprosy or Hansen’s disease.


Leprosy also known as Hansen’s disease is very rare in various parts of the world and in many places cases of leprosy disease are negligible. Nevertheless, some researchers have a strong belief that the danger of this ancient disease still living in our society.  According to WHO, back then in 2020, there were 127558 new cases of leprosy detected globally from 139 countries from the 6 WHO Regions.


The theme for World Leprosy Day 2024 is “Beat Leprosy”. This theme encapsulates the objectives, which include:


  • To eradicate the stigma associated with leprosy
  • To promote the dignity of people affected by the disease




World Leprosy Day was initiated by a French Journalist named Raoul Follereau in 1954. The primary objective behind the proclamation of this revolutionary event is to raise awareness about the leprosy disease and educate more people that this ancient disease is now easily curable. Many individuals across the world lack in getting proper and legitimate reasons for this disease and also have limited access to basic medical care.


Furthermore, this day aims to promote healthcare facilities to give easy access to treatment to every person who is affected by leprosy and also to dispel myths about leprosy that had existed in the past. As the evidence of this disease is very old also for many years people have believed that leprosy disease is a kind of curse or divine punishment, but after the discovery of   M. leprae, the causative agent of leprosy by the Norwegian physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen on February 28, 1873, people were able to understand the nuances of this disease.


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What Is Leprosy?


It is a chronic infectious disease typically, caused by a type of bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. Although this disease doesn’t spread easily from person to person there is a high chance of bacterial transmission through droplets from the nose and mouth during close and frequent contact with untreated cases. This disease primarily affects the skin and peripheral nerves, which may cause progressive and permanent disabilities.


Interesting Facts About Leprosy Disease


Many healtcare providers have an inquisitive mind and they explicitly show interest in uncovering facts about this ancient disease. Some of the interesting facts regarding Leprosy disease are:


  • Around 95% of the human population is not susceptible to infection with M. leprae, the bacteria that causes Leprosy disease
  • Treatment with standard antibiotic drugs is very effective
  • Patients become non-infectious after taking only a few doses of medication and need not be isolated from family and friends
  • Early diagnosis and treatment prevent nerve involvement, the hallmark of leprosy disease, and its disability
  • Without nerve involvement, leprosy disease would be a minor skin disease


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