World Leprosy Day main purpose to increase public awareness of Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease. This particular day was actually chosen to commemorate the death of Indian leader, Gandhi, who understood the importance of this disease. Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases recorded in the world. The disease targets the nervous system, especially the nerves in the cooler parts of the human body which include the feet, hands and face.
World Leprosy Day creates awareness that leprosy is in fact curable. This day is meant to help people living with the disease to understand that it is in fact a curable disease and to know that other people care about them. Leprosy holds the stigma that it is like HIV/AIDS which is why World Leprosy Day was developed to educated people and removes or weakens the stigma. Typically leprosy is associated with being highly contagious and has disfigurement properties. Once the diagnosis is made a person suffering from leprosy become social pariahs. This is another reason why World Leprosy Day was established.
World Leprosy Day is also meant to raise awareness on the need of breaking the poverty cycle all over the world. Leprosy has, for many years, been associated with poverty. To some point, this is true. Many people suffering from the disease have economical problems. World Leprosy Day focuses on poverty eradication especially on people living with leprosy.