Think Leprosy Now– Send Us Your VideoYour Message to 100 Million People

Are you familiar with leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease?

Leprosy is a mildly infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the skin and peripheral nerves. For centuries there was no cure, and the disease was feared for its disfiguring effects on the human body. Today, however, it is completely curable with a multidrug therapy (MDT) introduced in the 1980s. With early diagnosis and treatment, it leaves no trace, and medical efforts are making major strides toward the elimination of the disease.

Nevertheless, there are many deep-rooted myths and misconceptions about leprosy that continue today, and people affected by leprosy continue to face social discrimination, even after they are cured. Because of mistaken beliefs that leprosy is a divine punishment or is hereditary, whole families are marginalized, shutting off opportunities for education, employment and participation in community life.

Leprosy is not divine punishment. It is not hereditary.

The Nippon Foundation has been working for 40 years to bring the disease under control and eliminate discrimination against persons affected by leprosy. Our aim is to dispel mistaken notions about this disease, and for people to think about leprosy for what it is—a curable disease. With greater public awareness, we can end the discrimination that leprosy attracts.

World Leprosy Day is observed each year on the last Sunday in January. To help spread the word, we are asking for video messages from as many people as possible, and will post these on a website.

The message only needs to be a few seconds long. Please record your message including “Think Leprosy Now” and send it to We have already received messages from many well-known individuals.

The video messages we receive will be posted at the Think Leprosy Now website.

More information is available at this website. Please join us.


Public Relations Section, Communications Department
The Nippon Foundation