The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our world in many different ways. Understandably, most of the world’s attention (particularly on health issues) has been given to the novel coronavirus. Of course, other health issues, such as leprosy, haven’t gone away, and in some places have worsened, as access to medical care and services has been affected by the pandemic.
In 2010, leprosy was declared eliminated in Nepal. However, every year over three thousand people are diagnosed with the disease, which is heavily stigmatised among locals. Those suffering from leprosy are already extremely vulnerable, but adding the impact of COVID-19 on their lives [both directly and indirectly] makes them much more prone to long-term impairments.
On the 31st of January 2021, INF Nepal celebrated World Leprosy Day as a part of its ‘Care for Cure’ campaign, which is working toward zero leprosy cases in the country by raising awareness and supporting ongoing leprosy work.
World Leprosy Day is a powerful reminder that there is still work still to be done to ensure three big zeros of leprosy:
- Zero transmission
- Zero disability
- Zero stigma and discrimination
INF Australia will be holding a webinar on the programs and prospects for an end to leprosy in Nepal [8 February at 8pm].