World Leprosy Day

Every year, the World Leprosy Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of January. This year, the day was celebrated on January 30, 2022. It is marked by the World Health Organization and also by several other international organizations. The day aims to create awareness about the disease. It calls to end leprosy related discrimination.

Unity in dignity campaign

In 2022, the WHO launched the “United in Dignity” campaign to honour the people suffering from the disease. The campaign will share empowering stories and also will advocate mental well being.

World Leprosy Day in India

In India, the World Leprosy Day is celebrated on January 30. It is celebrated as the Anti – Leprosy Day in India. This is to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhiji. Gandhiji had compassion towards the people affected by leprosy throughout his life.


  • Leprosy is also called Hansen disease. It is caused by bacterial infection. It is caused by the bacteria called Mycobacterium Leprae. It is a rod shaped bacteria. Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases and has still not been eradicated. The first occurrence of leprosy was reported as 600 BC. It has been mentioned in the oldest civilisations of the world such as India, Egypt and China.
  • Leprosy is air borne. It affects peripheral nerves, skin, and respiratory tract. It takes three to five years for the symptoms to appear. If not treated on time, leprosy leads to disfigurement, disability and permanent nerve damage.
  • Leprosy can be cured by Multi – Drug therapy.

Steps taken by GoI

  • In 1955, the National Leprosy Control Programme was started.
  • In 1993 – 93, the World Bank supported National Leprosy Elimination Project.
  • National Leprosy Eradication Programme: It aimed to reduce the leprosy levels to less than one per 10,000 at national level by 2005.
  • In 2019, Lok Sabha passed a bill on leprosy. The bill sought to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce.




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