World Leprosy Eradication Day

Each year, on the last Sunday in the month of January, the world commemorates World Leprosy Day. This year’s commemoration took place on January 30, 2022, which was the last Sunday of the month. As the globe prepared to mark the worldwide movement, let us learn more about the concept, history, and the significance of World Leprosy Day.

The topic has a high probability of being asked as a Current Affairs Question in IAS Prelims and Mains, as it holds international importance.

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Theme of World Leprosy Eradication Day 2022

The theme of the World Leprosy Eradication Day 2022 is “United for Dignity”. This subject arose from a desire to make everyone aware that persons living with leprosy have the right to a dignified life free of shame.

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History of World Leprosy Eradication Day

The origins of this international day can be traced back to 1954. Raoul Follereau, a French philanthropist and writer, dreamed up this global effort to disseminate information and raise awareness of leprosy among people all over the world in order to reduce the discrimination suffered by those who suffer from the disease. The goal was to influence people’s views and attitudes regarding persons who cause emotional and physical trauma to leprosy patients. On the 30th of January, India commemorates Mahatma Gandhi’s death by commemorating World Leprosy Day. In truth, Follereau picked the 30th of January to honour Gandhi’s contributions to society. Gandhi felt sympathetic to persons suffering from leprosy.

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Note:IAS exam could ask basic facts about this topic, as it holds international as well as domestic importance.

What is Leprosy?

The bacillus Mycobacterium leprae is responsible for causing Leprosy disease. The sickness is caused by a bacterium and is not hereditary, according to Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen, a Norwegian physician. To honour the physician’s discovery, it was also dubbed as “Hansen’s Disease.”


Leprosy is just an infectious skin and neural disease that can also lead to depression, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). Furthermore, persons who are afflicted by the sickness are subjected to severe mental stress as a result of the attitudes of those around them. Isolation, social stigma, and marginalisation are all factors that contribute to their depression. The goal of World Leprosy Day is to change people’s perceptions about leprosy patients and to raise awareness and sympathy for them. The truth that leprosy is treatable must be made known to the public in order to promote the mental health of leprosy patients. The importance of this day stems from the concept that no leprosy sufferer should be socially isolated. They should not be shunned by their peers and must confront difficult struggles on their own as a result of the condition.

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