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Campaigns to mark World Leprosy Week

Campaigns to mark World Leprosy Week

On the occasion of the World Leprosy Week, that has started from the January 27th, 2002 the Leprosy Mission of India organised a variety of awareness programmes. This includes putting up posters and banners outside various institutions and distributing literature to dispel myths about the disease. Leprosy is an infectious disease that is fully curable. It primarily affects the skin and the nervous system. The disease has a long incubation period, which means that the person may be infected long before any symptoms appear. This period may be as long as 3-5 years. Diana, the Princess of Wales Health Education and Media Centre established by the Leprosy Mission, is carrying out the campaign, and has formally launched the Leprosy Week. The campaign will continue till February 2nd, 2002 during which a range of activities will be undertaken to spread awareness about leprosy. According to WHO figures, there are about 6 cases of leprosy for every 10,000 Indians. At present, there are over five lakh registered cases of leprosy, mainly from the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. Over 60 per cent of all the leprosy cases registered in the world and 75 per cent of all the new cases are in India. The most important factor in eliminating the disease is the promotion of health education and community awareness through mass media. There is no reduction in the rate of new cases being registered in India in the last 15 years. Nowadays, there are many support groups that are working in the area of leprosy. The only way to achieve the WHO goal of eliminating leprosy by 2005 is to make the general public own responsibility of integrating leprosy patients into the community.
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