World Leprosy Day 2021

The last Sunday of January is celebrated as the World Leprosy Day every year. The day is observed all across the world.

Highlights

  • The day is celebrated to raise knowledge about the leprosy.
  • It also seeks to propagate the need and importance of eradicating the disease.
  • As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the goal of the observance of the day in year 2021 is to beat leprosy by spreading more information regarding the disease.
  • The day will be celebrated to spread the knowledge that the disease is curable.

Leprosy cases across the world

As per the report, there were 2,08,619 new leprosy cases globally registered in the year 2018. This figure has come from 159 countries.

Leprosy day in India

  • In India, the day is being observed on January 30 in the year 2021.
  • January 30 is selected as a remembrance of the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

What is leprosy?

  • Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease.
  • It is an infectious disease which is caused by a bacillus Mycobacterium leprae.
  • The disease has been named after Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen who was a Norwegian physician.
  • Hansen proved that leprosy is not a hereditary disease but is caused by a bacterium.
  • The disease is a curable disease and treatment at the early stage can prevent any disability.
  • It can cause a progressive and permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes if it is left untreated.
  • The incubation period of the disease is 5 years usually. Symptoms of the disease can be seen within 1 year but it could also take 20 years or even more years to occur.

How it spreads?

The disease spreads through the droplets either from the nose or mouth when the affected person sneezes or coughs.

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