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Vatican backs further efforts against leprosy

Catholic World News - January 31, 2011

In observance of the 58th annual World Leprosy Day, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care released a statement expressing “gratitude for the commitment of millions of workers, professionals and volunteers from the fields of healthcare, society, politics and the media, who have helped and continue to help leprosy sufferers.”

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski said that while medical advances have sharply reduced the incidence of leprosy, the disease can still “provoke suffering, disability and social exclusion, causing ignorance, inequality and discrimination.” Further efforts are needed to provide for early detection, treatment, and rehabilitation, he said.

World Leprosy Day was observed on January 30. In his message, released on the eve of that observance, Archbishop Zimowski praised the Catholic heroes of the fight against leprosy, including St. Damian of Molokai and Blessed Jan Beyzym.

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