World Leprosy Day is observed on the last Sunday of January every year.


About ‘Leprosy Day’

  • In India, it is observed on 30th January every year, coinciding with the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The theme of World Leprosy Day 2023 is “Act Now. End Leprosy.


About ‘Leprosy’

  • It is a chronic infectious disease caused by a type of bacteria, Mycobacterium leprae.
  • The disease predominantly affects the skin and peripheral nerves if left untreated, the disease may cause progressive and permanent disabilities.
  • Transmission The bacteria are transmitted via droplets from the nose and mouth during close and frequent contact with untreated cases.
  • The majority of annual new case detections are from South-East Asia.
  • It is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) which still occurs in more than 120 countries, with more than 200 000 new cases reported each year.


About India’s Initiatives related to Leprosy

  • The Government launched National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) to make India leprosy free.
  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the umbrella of the National Health Mission (NHM).
  • It is implemented in all the States/UTs.


Global Initiatives related to Leprosy

World Health Organisation — The Global Leprosy Strategy 2021–2030 “Towards zero leprosy” was developed through a broad consultative process with all major stakeholders during 2019 and 2020.