-January 29, 2022
Getting United for Dignity on World Leprosy Day 2022
A French journalist and activist initiated World Leprosy Day in 1954, keeping in mind two goals: the first being to treat people uniformly affected by leprosy and the second one to educate the community about leprosy by rectifying historical fallacies encompassing the disease. This year too, we look forward to celebrating World Leprosy Day on January 30, 2022.
The Theme for World Leprosy Day
This international day is a time to honor people who have experienced leprosy, raise understanding of the disease, and call for an end to leprosy-related scars and injustice. The "United for Dignity "movement calls for unity in praising the stature of people who have encountered leprosy. The campaign honors the lived realities of individuals who have undergone leprosy by sharing their entrusting stories and urging for mental wellbeing and the privilege to become a part of a noble life free from disease-related stigma.
Together, we can raise every vote and honor the realities of people who have encountered leprosy. People who have undergone leprosy face mental health challenges because of stigma, intolerance, and seclusion. Let's ensure that people who experience leprosy have the right to a noble life free from disease-related staining and hatred.
Awareness to be spread on World Leprosy Day
The awareness that we can spread among our communities online this World Leprosy Day includes key details like
- Leprosy is remediable with a merger of antibiotics known as Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT). This remedy is available for free throughout the world. If leprosy is not cared about, it can lead to severe complexities.
- Leprosy is a 4,000 years old disease, making it one of the oldest diseases known to mankind. Yet, we think we can be the generation that finally ends the automatic transmission of leprosy – our objective is zero transmission by 2035.
- Leprosy still prevails! Around 200,000 people are interpreted with leprosy each year and many millions are surviving with leprosy-related disabilities, especially across Asia, Africa, and South America.
The key facts & stats of the Leprosy disease
- Leprosy is a chronic communicable illness caused by a bacillus, Mycobacterium leprae. M leprae spreads gradually and the incubation time of the infection, on average, is 5 years. Signs may occur in a year but can also take 20 years or even more.
- Leprosy primarily affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, the lining of the upper respiratory tract, and eyesight. The ailment is curable with various combined therapy.
- Leprosy is presumably communicated via droplets, from the nose and mouth, while having close and recurring contact with chronic leprosy cases. Untreated, leprosy can lead to advanced and permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs, and eyes.
- In 2020 there were 127558 new leprosy patients detected globally, conforming to official figures from 139 countries from the 6 WHO territories. The children impacted by leprosy included 8629 children who were below 15 years of age.
- The latest recent cases detected with grade 2 disabilities (G2D) were 7198 in number and these new cases were recorded at 0.9 per million population.
- The COVID 19 pandemic has disturbed program performance and a decline in new case detection was reported by 37% in 2020 correlated with 2019
India Marching towards zero leprosies
To date, we have been negotiating with the target of eradicating leprosy as a national health problem. The objective laid down was to reduce the pervasiveness rate to less than 1 per 10,000. A major pattern shift that has been made in our knowledge under the program is to break free of this selective target. Possibly, this target was significant when there was a very large number of leprosy patients in the country. But having attained a much lower proportion rate, we now need to set a higher standard and set a more enterprising target of eradicating leprosy as a disease in the country.