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World Leprosy Day – Easing Pain and Giving Hop

. Today, there are many centers that provide specialist leprosy treatment and even reconstructive surgery for hands, feet and eyes. Socio-economic remedial initiatives are extremely crucial in the rehabilitation of leprosy patients, which will help them blend with society.

Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) projects are vital to provide avenues to patients, especially those suffering disabilities. In India, such community based projects have offered financial support in the form of loans to patients, to begin businesses as a means of livelihood. Hundreds of patients are greatly benefited through the work of these rehabilitation centers.

Leprosy research has also made progress, evident in the decoding of the genome of Mycobacterium leprae, the causative organism in leprosy. Therefore, envisioning better ways of disease management and prevention is not mere wishful thinking. Yet, for all these initiatives to see the light of day, it is imperative that anti-leprosy services and health care providers work in tandem in leprosy endemic regions.

On this day, The World Health Organization has given an assurance that it will ceaselessly forge a partnership between public and private health care institutions, committed to the cause of leprosy. The most crucial fact lies in the change of attitude towards leprosy, which must be perceived like any other disease, in order to completely wipe-out the stigma associated with the disease.

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