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Leprosy, also known as leprosy, is one of the oldest diseases in the world. Before leprosy was known to be caused by a bacterial infection, it was sometimes considered a divine punishment or curse. People affected by this had to face discrimination. World Leprosy Day is celebrated every year just to raise awareness about this disease. Let us know what the World Health Organization says about this disease.
Why is World Leprosy Day celebrated?
According to the World Health Organization, World Leprosy Day falls on the last Sunday in January. French journalist Raoul Folreau started celebrating this day in 1954 in order to treat people suffering from this disease and to make people aware of this disease. It is celebrated all over the world on January 29. But in India it is celebrated on January 30. This day also marks the anniversary of the death of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Theme of World Leprosy Day
This year, International Leprosy Day emphasizes raising people’s awareness about this disease. That’s why this year’s theme is World Leprosy Day 2023. Act now.
Why is leprosy called Hansen’s disease?
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian doctor Gerhard Armauer Hansen on February 28, 1873. He was the one who discovered the causative agent of leprosy, M. Leprae. Therefore, it was formerly known as Hansen’s disease. Dr. Hansen explained that leprosy is caused by a bacterial infection.
Which part of the body is most affected
The disease mainly affects the skin, peripheral nerves, mucous membranes and eyes. It can be treated with a combination of drugs called multidrug therapy, which was introduced in the 1980s. If left untreated, it can lead to disability.
Myths about leprosy
Myths and misconceptions about this disease still exist. People with leprosy in different parts of the world can feel isolated from society, family and friends. In some countries, outdated laws still apply, which prohibit them from accessing public facilities.
In some places, leprosy is still grounds for divorce or dismissal. If an effort is made to know the facts about this disease and share the knowledge, it can help create a world without the problems associated with the disease.
Covid’s effect on most leprosy patients
Three years ago, in March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic. Measures such as lockdowns and other restrictions imposed by governments around the world have had a huge impact, especially on vulnerable communities such as those affected by leprosy. Many of them were already living in difficult circumstances. Because of this, not only did many people lose their livelihood, but they were unable to get treatment for the disease or its consequences.
leprosy is curable
According to the World Health Organization, leprosy is at least 4,000 years old, making it one of the oldest known diseases. The World Health Organization aims to have leprosy in 120 countries by 2030. Leprosy is preventable and treatable. All it takes is awareness.
Leprosy can be treated with a combination of antibiotics called multidrug therapy (MDT). This treatment is available for free worldwide. If left untreated, leprosy can lead to serious complications.
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