On a picturesque peninsula of one of Hawaii’s smallest islands are the remnants of one of history’s most horrific medical sequesters. Kalaupapa, on the island of Molokai, is Hawaii’s leprosy colony, where 8,000 people were sent into exile over the course of a century. Six of these patients still live sequestered, out of the 16 total patients who are still alive. They range in age from 73 to 92.
Source: Text & image: www.thedailybeast.com
World Leprosy Day is the day for international leprosy awareness. For over 60 years, on the last Sunday of January, people around the world have observed World Leprosy Day by remembering and praying for those living with the terrible effects of leprosy.
World Leprosy Day was the idea of the great French humanitarian, Raoul Follereau, who dedicated many years to fundraising and helping those affected by leprosy. Initially, this day of prayer was to achieve two things. First, Follereau believed that those affected by leprosy should receive the same respect, dignity and quality of care as any other patient. Second, he wanted greater awareness of the disease in order to change attitudes and to reduce stigma.
The particular day, the final Sunday in January, was chosen to commemorate the death of famous Indian nationalist leader, peace activist and celebrated global icon, Mahatma Gandhi, who once said, “Eliminating leprosy is the only work I have not been able to complete in my lifetime.” Through World Leprosy Day, we hope that we can move closer to finish the work that Gandhi could not.