Sunday, 26 January 2020

World Leprosy Day Theme: Ending Discrimination, Stigma And Prejudice

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Zimbabwe Online Health Centre

World Leprosy Day is the last Sunday in the month of January and commemorated globally. This year in 2020 it's on the 26th January. Events of the day are mainly to raise awareness of the disease in our communities. The theme is "Ending discrimination, stigma and prejudice." For many years when the disease used to be common those affected were treated as outcasts and would usually be thrown out of the community from others.

Leprosy is an infectious disease that affects skin and nerves. It progresses slowly such that symptoms might take as long as 5 years and in some individuals 20 years before they manifest.

 Symptoms include painful pale skin ulcers and long lasting lumps. Since it also affects nerves loss of feeling and muscle weakness might also be present. If eyes are affected it causes blindness.

Early diagnosis and treatment is important in management of leprosy to avoid complications. Diagnosis is by a skin biopsy.

 Treatment depends on symptoms one presents with but however antibiotics are used to treat the disease. If there is nerve damage it is not treatable and will lead to disabilities.

In Zimbabwe there is a Leprosy center located in Mutoko called Mutemwa Leprosy Center.

 The centre cares for those affected by the disease helping them recover and receiving treatment.

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