World Leprosy Day

Observed annually on the last Sunday of January, World Leprosy is an international observance day designed to raise the public’s awareness of leprosy. Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s Disease, is a long-term infection of the Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis bacteria.

Although this disease is believed to be extinct by most people, the fact of the matter is that over 600 people around the world are diagnosed with this disease every day. So, this is a day that not only attempts to raise awareness about this disease, but also the people who are suffering from it.

The History Of World Leprosy Day

This International awareness day was established by French philanthropist Raoul Follereau in 1954. He invented the holiday to raise awareness about leprosy and to teach people about this disease. Even though this disease is rare in the U.S., there are still people who are stricken with it despite it being a curable disease.

Facts You Should Know About Leprosy

Below are some facts that we believe everyone should know about leprosy. Let’s dig right into them.

  • In September 2016, a California school child was reported to have contracted leprosy.
  • In 2014, there were over 175 cases of leprosy reported in the United States.
  • Armadillos can carry the bacteria that causes leprosy.
  • It’s been estimated that approximately 95% of all humans are immune to leprosy.
  • Leprosy that’s described in the Bible isn’t believed to be the same type of leprosy experienced today.
  • The Bible’s “leprosy” refers to a variety of skin conditions that have been placed under the leprosy umbrella.
  • Over 15 million people have been cured of leprosy since the 1980s.

Observing World Leprosy Day

Everyone who is observing this day is encouraged to learn more about it and to spread the word about it. While observing this day, people should try to spread the word about it online using the hashtag #WorldLeprosyDay until there is no longer a need in the world to observe this day.

Where is World Leprosy Day celebrated?

There is no specific location where this holiday is celebrated.
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