World Leprosy Day being observed throughout the country

Himal Press 28 Jan 2024
World Leprosy Day being observed throughout the country A rally taken was taken out on the occasion of World Leprosy Day in Malangawa, Sarlahi, on Sunday. Photo: RSS

KATHMANDU: The World Leprosy Day is being observed across the country on Sunday by organizing various public awareness programs.

The theme for World Leprosy Day 2024 is “Beat Leprosy”, which encapsulates the dual objectives of the day: to eradicate the stigma associated with leprosy and to promote the dignity of people affected by the disease, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The World Leprosy Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of January. At a program organized by the Department of Health Services on the occasion, Director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Dr Rudra Prasad Marasini, said many people are still suffering from leprosy in the world. “Many people are still affected by leprosy in the world. They have been facing discrimination and lack of access to health services. Immediate efforts and commitment of the government and all bodies concerned are needed to eliminate the disease,” added Dr Marasini.

Raoul Follereau, a French philanthropist, started celebrating World Leprosy Day in 1954 to prevent leprosy through proper treatment, controlling it through public awareness and ending discrimination against those suffering from leprosy disease.

Dr Prashanna Napit, the Head of Leprosy Control and Disability Management Section, said leprosy is a contagious disease caused by a microbe called Mycobacterium leprae.

Leprosy was declared eliminated as a public health problem at the national level in Nepal on January 19, 2010. This means that the prevalence of leprosy in Nepal was less than one in every 10,000 people. At that time, the prevalence rate of leprosy at the national level was 0.77 percent.

According to the Leprosy Control Section, this rate is 0.85 until the end of Fiscal Year 2022/23 while the leprosy prevalence rate is less than one person per 10,000 people in 14 districts.

Published On: 28 Jan 2024


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