Nearly 10% of the Leprosy patients in Sri Lanka have been identified as children, according to Specialist Dr. Chandana Gajanayake, the Colombo District Director of Health Services.
He emphasized that around 2,000 Leprosy patients are being reported in the country per year.
Furthermore, Dr. Gajanayake stated that a public awareness programme has been organized centering the Colombo District, in conjunction with World Leprosy Day which falls today (Jan. 29).
The doctor also added that since the disease only appears as a white spot for a long time, many people tend to ignore it.
Meanwhile, the theme of World Leprosy Day 2023 was announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “Act Now. End Leprosy.”
This year’s theme calls attention to three key messages, according to the WHO.
1. Elimination is possible: We have the power and tools to stop transmission and defeat this disease.
2. Act now: We need the resources and commitment to end leprosy. Prioritize leprosy elimination.
3. Reach the unreached: Leprosy is preventable and treatable. Suffering from leprosy is needless.
Leprosy is curable with a combination of antibiotics known as Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT). This treatment is available for free across the world, the WHO mentioned, adding that if Leprosy is not treated, it can lead to serious complications.