WLD 2021 WLD 2021

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World Leprosy Day 2021

World Leprosy Day takes place on Sunday 31 January 2021 and is the biggest opportunity of the year to raise awareness globally about leprosy.

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Date: Sunday January 31, 2021

Aim: World Leprosy Day (WLD) raises the awareness of leprosy across the globe. Leprosy is curable and yet many people affected by this disease don't know there is a cure, and are often isolated away from society. This is needs to change. Take a look at our leprosy FAQ at the bottom of this page to learn more about this curable disease. 

How can i get involved?:

  • Sign up to learn more about Lepra and leprosy!
  • Visit our social media channels to learn more about leprosy and share our posts with your friends and family. Don't forget to use the hashtags #LeprosyIsCurable, #WLD2021, #EndPrejudice

Make a donation in any of the following ways:

  • Head to our donation page and make a one-off or regular donation
  • Call us at 07464 893246 or 01206 216700
  • Text LEPRA followed by your donation amount to 70500 

This is the one day of the year where leprosy is in the spotlight, and want to shout that 'Leprosy is curable!' Please help our voice to be heard!


The new year has brought a further hurdle to people affected by leprosy. The supply chain of Multidrug Therapy (MDT), the medicine currently used to treat leprosy, has been significantly impacted due to manufacturing problems.  This is a huge concern for people affected by leprosy, and Lepra is leading the march to rectify this.

So our message this WLD is simple.  We need your support to raise a massive one million pounds so that we can:

  • Be instrumental in offering a solution which addresses the supply of MDT
  • Continue our programme of Active Case Finding
  • Expand the PCR testing project with mobile outreach to ensure vulnerable people in even the most remote and rural communities can access the treatment they need 
  • Be a key player in the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns to ensure that those people affected by leprosy and LF are not forgotten.

We have already been asked or help and support by the Ministries of Health in India and Bangladesh.


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Did you know? Lepra (then BELRA) was founded on January 31 1924, and this year we celebrate our anniversary on the same day as WLD 2021! We have been at the forefront of leprosy treatment since that time, from the development of an effective cure to ground breaking techniques to find, support and restore the lives of people affected by this devastating disease. 


Leprosy FAQ

Today, at least 600 people will be diagnosed with leprosy, and 50 of those are children. 

What is leprosy?

Leprosy is a mildy infectious disease that is thought to be transferred through infected respiratory droplets. 

Can it be cured?

Yes. A resounding yes. The cure for leprosy is a course of antibiotics known as MTD. Rifampicin, Dapsone, and Clofazimine are used in combination with each other to cure a person of leprosy. In 1945, Lepra were the first organisation to use Dapsone in treatment for leprosy. The World Health Organization supplied MDT for FREE for anyone who needs it. 

How many people are affected by leprosy?

We estimate that 7 million people are living with leprosy across the globe, and at least 3 million are living with it undiagnosed. 

What is Lepra and how do they help?

Lepra is a health charity specialising in leprosy. Lepra has been providing support to people affected by leprosy for 96 years. Our raison d'etre is to identify people with leprosy through a programme of Active Case Finding and support them to access the support and treatment they need. We are an evidence-led secular organisation, working in India, Bangladesh, Mozamabique and Zimbabwe.  Importantly, all of our services are provided free of charge. 

How has Lepra fared during a tumultous 2020?

It is becoming evident that the global health crisis is about to throw decades of progress on health, education and poverty into reverse, with the impact inevitably hitting those people at the bottom of the “forgotten” rung hardest.

Lepra, as a specialist health charity instrumental in developing a cure for leprosy, has been well equipped to draw on its expert clinical knowledge and continue its evidence based research in the face of COVID-19.  As challenges presented throughout 2020, we have found ways to overcome them, for example:

Our testing project, nutrition support and hygiene kit work continues apace.  These services operate together with our leprosy and LF projects, often working through self-support groups to assist the most vulnerable, providing access to lifesaving medical supplies, hygiene equipment and disability support

In Bangladesh and India our colleagues have been working hard, often risking their own health to ensure continuity of programmes.  It is good to report that all who have fallen sick with COVID-19 have recovered, though not always quickly

The purchase of PCR machines at the Blue Peter Public Health and Research Centre which allow for the study of, and testing for, not only leprosy but COVID-19 too, are now able to achieve test results in 40 minutes!

These astonishing achievements reflect our determination to change the lives of people affected by leprosy and LF, and come what may, remain steadfast in the face of these turbulent times. 

87p in every £1 raised is dedicated to delivering frontline services!

Donate now and help us continue our life changing services.