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World Leprosy Day 2022: #United4Dignity!

by Public Health Update

Overview

World Leprosy Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of January. In 2022, World Leprosy Day is 30 January. This international day is an opportunity to celebrate people who have experienced leprosy, raise awareness of the disease, and call for an end to leprosy-related stigma and discrimination.

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#United4Dignity

The “United for Dignity” campaign calls for unity in honoring the dignity of people who have experienced leprosy. The campaign honors the lived experiences of individuals who have experienced leprosy by 1) sharing their empowering stories and 2) advocating for mental wellbeing and the right to a dignified life free from disease-related stigma.

Key Messages

  1. Together we can lift up every voice and honor the experiences of people who have experienced leprosy.
  2. People who experience leprosy face mental wellbeing challenges due to stigma, discrimination, and isolation.
  3. People who experience leprosy have the right to a dignified life free from disease-related stigma and discrimination.

TOWARDS ZERO LEPROSY – GLOBAL LEPROSY (HANSEN’S DISEASE) STRATEGY 2021–2030

Long term vision

Zero leprosy: zero infection and disease, zero disability, zero stigma and discrimination

Goal

Elimination of leprosy (defined as interruption of transmission) 

Global targets for 2030

  • 120 countries with zero new autochthonous cases
  • 70% reduction in annual number of new cases detected
  • 90% reduction in rate per million population of new cases with grade-2 disability (G2D)
  • 90% reduction in rate per million children of new child cases with leprosy

Strategic pillars and key components

1: Implement integrated, country-owned zero leprosy roadmaps in all endemic countries

  • Political commitment with adequate resources for leprosy in integrated context
  • National partnerships for zero leprosy and zero leprosy roadmaps engaging all stakeholders 
  • Capacity building in the healthcare system for quality services
  • Effective surveillance and improved data management systems
  • Monitoring of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and adverse drug reactions

2: Scale up leprosy prevention alongside integrated active case detection

  • Contact tracing for all new cases
  • Preventive chemotherapy scaled up
  • Integrated active case-finding in targeted populations
  • Existing and potential new vaccines

3: Manage leprosy and its complications and prevent new disability

  • Early case detection, accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment
  • Access to comprehensive, well-organized referral facilities
  • Diagnosis and management of leprosy reactions, neuritis and disabilities
  • Monitoring, support and training in self-care 
  • Mental well-being through psychological first aid and therapeutic counselling

4: Combat stigma and ensure human rights are respected

  • Adoption of Principles and Guidelines for elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members
  • Inclusion of organizations and networks of persons affected by leprosy
  • Amendment of discriminatory laws
  • Interventions and processes to reduce and monitor leprosy-related stigma in communities
  • Access to social support and rehabilitation

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