Eliminate service gaps for leprosy and move faster to achieve infection-free status: WHO

by Subhechcha Ganguly

The WHO Global Leprosy Strategy 2021–2030 has as its goal the eradication of leprosy infection and disease, leprosy disability, and leprosy stigma and discrimination. On Sunday, the WHO called on nations in the South-East Asia Region and around the world to address gaps in leprosy services, disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, urgently.

The final Sunday in January is designated as World Leprosy Day (WLD), a time to honour those who have battled leprosy, spread awareness of the condition, and demand an end to prejudice and stigma connected to the disease. Act Now. End Leprosy is the slogan for World Leprosy Day in 2023.140,000 new leprosy cases were recorded in 2021, 95% of which originated from the 23 countries with the highest worldwide priority. Of these, 6% had obvious abnormalities or grade 2 impairments according to the diagnosis (G2D). 368 grade 2 impairments were identified in over 6% of new cases involving children under the age of 15.

Dr. Singh continued by saying that the nations must keep working to quickly restore leprosy services, with an emphasis on increasing single dose rifampicin chemoprophylaxis, stepping up active case finding, and ensuring that multidrug therapy is administered for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. In order to eliminate suffering and achieve leprosy eradication, she emphasised the importance of focusing attention on vulnerable populations, such as women, children, immigrants, refugees, the elderly, the homeless, people living in deplorable leprosy colonies, and people living in remote locations.

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