The day was established by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau in 1954, who after meeting a person affected by leprosy felt more needed to be done to fight the disease’s stigma. Raoul.
Each year World Leprosy Day generally falls around the nearest Sunday to 30 January. This is the day Mahatma Gandhi, the great Indian leader and international figure was assassinated. Gandhi was a major figure in the fight to raise leprosy awareness and always went out of his way to befriend people living with leprosy, not just in India, but in other countries also.
Worldwide, there are four million people disabled by leprosy and one in ten leprosy cases are children. In the last quarter alone, we diagnosed six new cases of leprosy and our specialist shoemaker provided 41 people living with leprosy tailor-made shoes to help them walk.
Leprosy is curable, but despite much education, stigma is still a huge problem in many parts of the world; people are unable to find work, marry, and are being ostracised from their homes just because they have leprosy. Even the families of those living with leprosy can suffer this stigma.
Please help raise awareness of one of the oldest, but curable diseases in the world by joining our #MyHandsandFeet campaign by posting pictures of your hands and feet on social media.
Don’t forget to use #WorldLeprosyDay and #MyHandsandFeet.