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.

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

News about World Leprosy Day

World Leprosy Day 2022: Events Around the World

World Leprosy Day is recognized internationally on the last Sunday of January to increase public awareness of leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease. This year it was celebrated on 30 January 2022. Organizations of persons affected by leprosy and leprosy community partners traditionally organize in-person … Read More >

World Leprosy Day 2021: Events Around the World

World Leprosy Day is recognized internationally on the last Sunday of January to increase the public awareness of leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease. This slideshow showcases ways the leprosy community celebrated World Leprosy Day in 2021.

World Leprosy Day 2020: Celebrations around the world

Communities and partners came together last month to celebrate World Leprosy Day with events and gatherings all over the world. View our interactive map to see images from some of these celebrations.