World Leprosy Day – January 28 – 2018

Posted By: @T00PP00 January 29, 2017 –

World Leprosy Day is observed internationally on January 30 in 2017 and January 28 in 2018 or its nearest Sunday to increase the public awareness of the Leprosy.

Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases known to humankind. It is also known as Hansen’s disease, named after Norwegian physician, Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen, who debunked the prevailing notion of the time that leprosy was a hereditary disease.

It is a chronic infectious disease that targets the nervous system, especially the nerves in the cooler parts of the body, the hands, feet and face.

A germ, or bacteria, called Mycobacterium leprae/Mycobacterium lepromatosis causes an infection that affects the skin, destroys nerves and can also cause problems in the eyes and nose.

This can also result in a lack of ability to feel pain and thus loss of parts of extremities due to repeated injuries or infection due to unnoticed wounds.

The aim of World Leprosy Day is to change this attitude and increase public awareness of the fact that leprosy can now be easily prevented and cured.

The public stigma attached to leprosy is hampering efforts to eradicate the disease in some regions as people afflicted with the disease are inclined to hide it for fear of being isolated.

Early detection and proper management can, however, prevent lasting debilitating sequelae and reduce the impact of the disease on the patient and the country at large.

Currently, the only safeguard is a vaccine with BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin), a single dose of which gives 50 percent or higher protection against the disease. There is ongoing research to developing a more specific leprosy vaccine.

World Leprosy Day educates those who are ignorant to the diseases and attempts to demolish the stigma associated with it.

The day was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, as a way to raise global awareness of this deadly ancient disease and call attention to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured.



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