World Leprosy Day

World Leprosy Day is a celebration of the leprosy community and an opportunity to raise public awareness of leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease.

On the last Sunday of January*, the international community advocates for the rights of people who have experienced Hansen’s disease and joins in the work to combat the medical and social implications of this neglected tropical disease.









World Leprosy Day was established in 1954 by French journalist and activist, Raoul Follereau. Follereau created World Leprosy Day with two goals: to advocate for the equal treatment of persons affected by leprosy and to reeducate the public about leprosy by correcting historical misconceptions surrounding the disease.

This year, World Leprosy Day takes place on 31 January 2021. We unite around one goal: #BeatLeprosy. This World Leprosy Day, we invite you to help spread the word that #LeprosyIsCurable, join in the fight to #EndStigma, and advocate for the #MentalWellbeing of persons who have experienced leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases.

*In India, World Leprosy Day is celebrated on 30 January, the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s death.

News about World Leprosy Day

World Leprosy Day 2021: Events Around the World

Due to COVID-19, many events were organized virtually in 2021. We compiled a slideshow showcasing how the leprosy community celebrated World Leprosy Day this year.

World Leprosy Day 2020: Celebrations Around the World

Communities and partners came together to celebrate with events and gatherings all around the world. View our interactive map to see images from some of these celebrations.