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WHO vows tighter, broader action against tobacco, industry interference.

Even though the number of leprosy cases have steadily declined worldwide, an estimated two lakh cases continue to be reported every year, with India accounting for more than half, said World Health Organization (WHO).

“Leprosy-related discrimination, stigma and prejudice are the most powerful barriers to ending leprosy for good, especially given the disease is 100 per cent curable when detected early,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia.


According to WHO, apart from India, a significant number of leprosy cases are detected in the Southeast Asia region, Brazil, sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific.


Leprosy, Wikimedia Commons

“Though leprosy is often equated with serious deformity and disability, the percentage of patients having these symptoms is down to six per cent, demonstrating the disease is being diagnosed earlier than ever,” Singh added.

She further noted that core public health interventions such as active case-finding, improved treatment regimens and strengthened surveillance continue to drive down leprosy’s incidence and spread, but the disease’s bio-social components must be brought to the fore.

Also Read- Are Indian Scientists’ Minds Cluttered With Prejudices?

“As outlined in WHO’s Global Leprosy Strategy 2016-2020, policies that promote inclusion and aim at ending leprosy-related discrimination, stigma and prejudice should be at the front and at the centre of all leprosy programmes, as powerful tools to achieve a leprosy-free world,” she noted. (IANS)


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Yakshi statue by Kanayi Kunjiraman at Malampuzha garden, Kerala

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The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.

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Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.


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A stamp depicting the Mysore peta

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Among the many things that Mysore offers to the state of Karnataka, the Mysore Peta is one. In north India, various cultures have their own headgears. They wear their traditional outfits on the days of festivities and ceremonies. Likewise, in the south, especially in Karnataka, the Mysore Peta is worn.

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