World Leprosy Day (WLD) is celebrated on the last Sunday of January. In 2022, World Leprosy Day is 30 January. This international day is an opportunity to celebrate people who have experienced leprosy, raise awareness of the disease, and call for an end to leprosy-related stigma and discrimination.Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, an acid-fast, rod-shaped bacillus. The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, and the eyes. Leprosy is curable and treatment in the early stages can prevent disability.
- Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by a bacillus, Mycobacterium leprae. M leprae multiplies slowly and the incubation period of the disease, on average, is 5 years. Symptoms may occur within 1 year but can also take as long as 20 years or even more.
- Leprosy mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, and the eyes. The disease is curable with multidrug therapy.
- Leprosy is likely transmitted via droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close and frequent contact with untreated cases. Untreated, leprosy can cause progressive and permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs, and eyes.
- There were 127558 new leprosy cases detected globally in 2020, according to official figures from 139 countries from the 6 WHO Regions. This includes 8 629 children below 15 years. The new case detection rate among child population was recorded at 4.4 per million child population.
- Among the new cases 7 198 new cases were detected with grade2 disabilities (G2D) and the new G2D rate was recorded at 0.9 per million population
- At the end of the year 2020, the prevalence was 129 389 cases on treatment and prevalence rate corresponds to 16.7 per million population.
- The COVID 19 pandemic has disrupted programme implementation and a reduction in new case detection by 37% in 2020 compared with 2019
The “United for Dignity” campaign calls for unity in honoring the dignity of people who have experienced leprosy. The campaign honors the lived experiences of individuals who have experienced leprosy by:
- sharing their empowering stories and
- advocating for mental wellbeing and the right to a dignified life free from disease-related stigma.
- Together we can lift up every voice and honor the experiences of people who have experienced leprosy.
- People who experience leprosy face mental wellbeing challenges due to stigma, discrimination, and isolation.
- People who experience leprosy have the right to a dignified life free from disease-related stigma and discrimination.
- World Mental Health Day 2023 | Know theme
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Hey there, I am Nirdesh Baral, founder of Nepal Health Magazine. I am a Tech geek by passion , Public health practitioner by profession and an Ailurophile by heart and a patriot by birth