Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – On Sunday, January 29, 64th World Day of Leprosy, during the Angelus Pope Francis recalled the anniversary with these words: "Today we celebrate the World Day of Leprosy. This disease, although declining, is still among the most feared, and affects the poorest and the most marginalised. It is important to fight this disease, but also the discrimination it engenders. I encourage all those engaged in assistance and social rehabilitation of people affected by leprosy, to whom we assure our prayer".
The Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Peter Turkson, published a message entitled "Eradication of leprosy and the reintegration of people afflicted by hanseniasis: a challenge not yet won" in which he stated "we should all commit ourselves – and at all levels – to ensuring that in all Countries policies relating to the family, to work, to schools, to sport, and policies of every other kind, that directly or indirectly discriminate against these people are changed, and that Governments develop implementing plans that involve people with this disease". If "strengthening scientific research in order to develop new medical products, and obtain better diagnostic instruments in order to increase the possibility of early diagnosis, is fundamental, is also necessary that "a person who has been cured of this disease must be reintegrated to the full into his or her original social fabric: his or her family, community, school, or work environment". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 30/01/2017)