Anti-Leprosy Day observed on 30 January 2017
In India, leprosy is more prevalent among the poorest and most marginalized communities due to their lack of access to health care, poor sanitation and congested living spaces.
30 January: Anti-Leprosy Day
Anti-Leprosy Day was observed on 30 January 2017 across the country to spread awareness about the disease.
Annually, the day is celebrated in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi to re-memorize his selfless efforts and care for the people affected by leprosy.
Objectives of Celebrating Anti-Leprosy Day are -
• To raise awareness about the disease
• To offer help to those affected by the disease through regular and free of cost treatment they need
• To make the diseased persons psychologically strong and help them to cope up with physical impairments of skin sores and nerve damage
• To ascertain that all affected persons are getting the necessary treatment, rehabilitation and care or not
• To estimate the marked decrease or increase in the rate of spread of the disease
About Leprosy Disease
• Leprosy is also known as Hansen's disease (HD).
• It is a chronic infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis.
• Symptoms that develop include granulomas of the nerves, respiratory tract, skin and eyes.
• The disease results in a lack of ability to feel pain. Weakness and poor eyesight are also associated with the disease.
India’s success story in eliminating Leprosy
• 1955: National Leprosy Control Programme launched
• 1983: National Leprosy Eradication Programme launched
• 1983: Introduction of Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT)
• 2005: Elimination of leprosy at the national level was achieved on 31 December 2005.
• 2012: Special action plan for 209 high endemic districts in 16 States/UTs launched
• 2016: A three-pronged strategy for early detection of leprosy cases in the community was introduced under the National Health Mission.
• 2016: A special Leprosy Case Detection Campaign was launched. As a result, more than 32000 cases were confirmed and were put on treatment.