International Leprosy Day was established by United Nations General Assembly in 1953 and is observed annually on January 30.
Leprosy is curable with a treatment known as multidrug therapy (MDT). Treatment for paucibacillary leprosy is with the medications dapsone and rifampicin for six months. Treatment for multibacillary leprosy consists of rifampicin, dapsone, and clofazimine for 12 months. These treatments are provided free of charge by the World Health Organization. A number of other antibiotics may also be used. Globally in 2012, the number of chronic cases of leprosy was 189,000 down from some 5.2 million in the 1980s. The number of new cases was 230,000. Most new cases occur in 16 countries, with India accounting for more than half. In the past 20 years, 16 million people worldwide have been cured of leprosy. About 200 cases are reported per year in the United States.