World Leprosy Day 2017 is on 29th Jaunary, theme is "___________________", 2014 theme is "Joining Forces – Accelerating Progress" and 2013 theme is "The old has passed away; behold the new has come."
World Leprosy Day is observed the world over on the 26th of January to focus attention and create awareness on Leprosy or Hansen’s disease. This day is chosen in remembrance of Mahatma Gandhi, who took a keen interest in leprosy and the plight of people affected with leprosy. Raoul Follereau who created the World leprosy Day in 1954 with the intention that people affected by this disease could avail medical care like all others who are ill, and also that the healthy could also be cured of their absurd fear of this disease. Leprosy is an air-borne disease transmitted by minute respiratory droplets, but the course that the disease progresses through puts the patient through severe mental and physical pain. The disease leads to gradual loss of nerve endings, fingers, toes etc. This results in isolation, discrimination and fear amongst the healthy.
The ILEP is a federation of autonomous anti-leprosy NGOs which work for the rights and humane treatment of leprosy patients, their approach is holistic and is based on the principle that all who are affected by the disease have a fair share in human rights. The ILEP supports medical, scientific, social and humanitarian activities for the betterment of leprosy patients. The ILEP in collaboration with the WHO, the Global Leprosy Programme, Governments, health authorities’ work towards the development and access to quality medical services, prevention of impairments and disabilities due to leprosy, promoting the human rights of persons affected with leprosy. To achieve these goals and to create awareness of the total curability of leprosy the ILEP celebrates the World Leprosy Day.
The World Leprosy Day 2015 was celebrated on January 25th, will make the people aware of their role to fight indifference towards people with leprosy and to accord them the dignity and respect that they deserve. The vision and mission of the World Leprosy day will be ‘A World without Leprosy’ .
Fund raising and awareness will be the key features of the World Leprosy Day.
The World leprosy day hopes to make states formulate policies that will disseminate information about leprosy, the fact that the disease is wholly curable. To encourage the media, visual and print to spread awareness about leprosy, to portray pictures that do not impinge on the sensibilities or dignity of people with leprosy. To raise awareness of the skills and inherent talents of people with leprosy and to provide them with a gainful living. To provide access to quality medical care and to encourage health authorities to improve healthcare practices.
The World Leprosy day also marks many field activities like distributing leaflets’, pamphlets, greeting cards and review of books, research materials, seminars, and fundraising events.
A message from the ILEP President, Rene Staheli is broadcast on all leprosy forums. The good news this year is the start of the WHO’s Enhanced Global Strategy for Further Reducing the Disease Burden due to leprosy 2011-2012.
“The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted”
“And if there be in the bald head, or bald forehead, a white reddish sore; it is a leprosy sprung up in his bald head, or his bald forehead.”
“And the priest shall see the raw flesh, and pronounce him to be unclean: for the raw flesh is unclean: it is a leprosy.”
“And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”
“As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair / In leprosy.”
“This is the law of the plague of leprosy in a garment of woollen or linen, either in the warp, or woof, or any thing of skins, to pronounce it clean, or to pronounce it unclean.”