More than 20 countries still discriminate against leprosy

26 January 2018

More than 20 countries still have laws in place which discriminate against persons affected by the disease Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease.

That’s according to Alice Cruz, the UN independent expert against discrimination for those affected, and their family members.

Leprosy is caused by a bacterial infection which multiplies slowly, affecting nerve endings and destroying the body’s ability to feel pain.

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for national programmes to boost their efforts to identify cases, trace contacts, and focus more on early detection in children.

WHO is urging countries to reach the goal of zero infection among children, by 2020, and on Sunday, the world observes World Leprosy Day.

Fatima Mendez asked Ms Cruz about the misconceptions surrounding the disease.

Duration: 11'27"

Audio Duration:
11'26"