World Leprosy day
Tags: Important Days
World Leprosy Day is observed on the last Sunday of January. In 2023, World Leprosy Day was observed on 29 January.
An overview of the news
The date was chosen as a tribute to the life of Mahatma Gandhi by French humanitarian, Raoul Folreau, who did a lot of work with persons affected by leprosy.
In India, it is celebrated every year on 30 January to mark the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
It is organised by leprosy and leprosy-focused NGOs including the Leprosy Mission.
The theme for World Leprosy Day 2023 is ‘Act Now: End Leprosy’.
The aim of the day is to raise awareness about leprosy.
What is Leprosy?
Leprosy is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that still occurs in more than 120 countries with more than 200000 new cases reported every year.
It is an infectious disease caused by the Mycobacterium leprae.
It mainly affects the skin, nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and eyes.
Its infection occurs due to close and frequent contact with the patient.
Leprosy is curable with multi drug therapy (MDT). If left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the skin, nerves, organs and eyes.
Status of Leprosy in India
According to the recent statement by the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Bharti Praveen Pawar, it is a matter of great concern that India accounts for about 52 percent of the total leprosy cases worldwide.
The prevalence rate of leprosy cases in India has decreased from 0.69 per ten thousand population in 2014-15 to 0.45 in 2021-22.
Dr Bharti also launched the National Strategic Plan and Roadmap for Leprosy 2023-2027.
The aim of the plan is to eradicate leprosy in the country by 2027. The minister also launched the National Guidelines for Surveillance for Antimicrobial Resistance in Leprosy.
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