President Kovind presents International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr N S Dharmashaktu on Thursday.
President Kovind presents International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr N S Dharmashaktu on Thursday.

President Kovind confers International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr NS Dharmashaktu

ANI | Updated: Feb 06, 2020 19:26 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 6 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday presented the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr N S Dharmashaktu under the Indian nomination (individual) category and the Leprosy Mission Trust under the institutional category.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said: "In our fight against Leprosy, we have achieved a lot over the years. We have successfully accomplished levels of leprosy elimination defined as less than one case per ten thousand population."
"The stigma and prejudice against leprosy have reduced considerably. However, new cases continue to occur and high-burden pockets of the disease do exist," he said.
The President said that the major challenge in leprosy control activities lies in sustaining the same level of focus and commitment especially in low-resource settings where equity of access is an issue.

"We need to intensify our efforts towards early detection of leprosy cases, provide equitable access to appropriate treatment and provide integrated leprosy services in the geographically focused areas," he said.
The President said that more than the medical condition, the social stigma attached to the disease persists, which is a cause for concern.
Underlining the need to spread awareness on leprosy, he said: "We have to become aware and educated on this disease and its different dimensions, and spread that awareness among our communities. We need to empower those who have been discriminated on account of leprosy through advocacy and information dissemination." (ANI)

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