Japan's Nippon Foundation helps in tackling Hansen's disease in India

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Tokyo [Japan], June 10 (ANI): The Japan-based Nippon Foundation has regularly helped India in tackling the Hansen's disease, also known as leprosy that can damage the nervous system and result in crippling of hands and feet, paralysis, as well as blindness if left untreated. Renowned online medical journal 'The Lancet' referred to the book "No Matter Where the Journey Takes Me" written by Yohei Sasakawa, the chairman of the foundation. The book recollected Sasakawa's experiences of combating the Hansen's disease during his visit to some 90 countries, including India. Sasakawa visited India 60 times to cooperate in activities tackling Hansen's disease. His visit in the beginning of this year was distinctively memorable. India has the largest number of patients infected by Hansen's disease, estimating roughly over 120,000. It occupies 60 per cent of the total tally globally. The Nippon Foundation's branch in Delhi has regularly held events to aware people of the dangerous disease, such as observing "Anti-Leprosy Day 2020". In Gujarat, the Nippon Foundation has been supporting local association partners such as APAL to make people aware of the disease spread. Volunteers working with 'ASHA' group, wearing orange-colored saris detect leprosy patients visiting the area. Sasakawa encourages the health group to recognize patients infected with the disease who usually tend to hide. In 2018, Sasakawa was also awarded the Gandhi Peace prize keeping in view his contribution to combating the disease. (ANI)