World Leprosy Day 2023
World Leprosy Day (WLD) is celebrated on the last Sunday of January. In 2023, World Leprosy Day is observed on 29 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. This date was chosen by French humanitarian, Raoul Follereau as a tribute to the life of Mahatma Gandhi, who did much work with persons affected by leprosy and died at the end of January in 1948.
World Leprosy Day 2023: Theme
The theme of World Leprosy Day 2023 is “Act Now. End Leprosy.” This year’s theme calls attention to three key messages:
- Elimination is possible: We have the power and tools to stop transmission and defeat this disease.
- Act now: We need the resources and commitment to end leprosy. Prioritize leprosy elimination.
- Reach the unreached: Leprosy is preventable and treatable. Suffering from leprosy is needless.
What is Leprosy?
- Leprosy is curable with a combination of antibiotics known as Multi Drug Therapy (MDT). This treatment is available for free across the world. If leprosy is not treated, it can lead to serious complications.
- Leprosy is at least 4,000 years old, making it one of the oldest diseases known to humanity. However, we believe we can be the generation that finally ends the transmission of leprosy – our target is to achieve 120 countries with zero new autochthonous leprosy cases by 2030.
- Leprosy still exists! Although around 200,000 people were diagnosed with leprosy each year before COVID-19, this number has fallen by 30% because of disruptions caused by the pandemic to leprosy programmes. Many millions are living with leprosy-related disabilities, particularly across Asia, Africa, and South America.