2019 World Leprosy Day (WLD)
The World Leprosy Day (WLD) is observed every year on the last Sunday of January to spread awareness about the disease, the impact of discrimination and social stigma attached to it and how these negative effects hamper the efforts to stop the spread of the disease. This year, in 2019, it falls on 27 January and its theme is ‘Ending discrimination, stigma and prejudice’. Leprosy (or Hansen disease) is one of the oldest recorded diseases in the world. The disease is caused by the bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae and is contagious. 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. This chronic disease can be passed on from one person to another or even by breathing airborne droplets from the affected individuals. Even cough and sneezes, or coming into contact with the affected individual nasal fluids could lead to leprosy. The infection can be contracted at any age.