Every year on March 20, the United Nations celebrates the International Day of Happiness. With our planet experiencing unprecedented challenges, it is more important than ever to be happy.
The purpose of the International Day of Happiness is to raise awareness on the value of happiness in one’s life and the overall impact it can have on a person’s well-being.
Indeed, the alarming global crises, pandemic, political tensions, economic hardships and are enough to keep us in a state of melancholy. The economy and people’s livelihoods have been severely harmed. This means that in many regions, happiness is at an all-time low. However, it will do us a huge benefit if we cultivate and commit to being happy.
“Build Back Happier” is the theme for 2022, and is aimed at achieving global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Families and friends have been unable to be together for long periods of time due to lockdowns and pandemic-related norms.
Where do happiness come from?
Happiness can come from the good things of life, as well as pleasurable activities such as philanthropic works. However, the happiness that pleasurable activities gives is ephemeral, whereas the pleasure that philanthropic activities gives lasts longer because it gives intrinsic motivation, which is a motivation that its driven by internal rewards, and which gives a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment.
Facts about happiness
50% of your happiness is genetically determined
40% of your happiness is determined by intentional activities, behaviour and practices that we voluntarily pursue, such as helping others, adopting positive attitude, exercise or striving for goals.
10% of your happiness is determined by life’s circumstances, for example material wealth, marriage, employment status, income and possessions to mention a few
Benefits of being happy
Happy people are less likely to fall sick or suffer debilitating diseases.
Happy people have better social relationships
Happy people live longer
Happy people are better organisational citizens
How to cultivate happiness
Be intentional; treat happiness like your routine exercise
Commit to happiness
Work on being happy
In this life, there will always be trouble. When you worry you make your trouble double.
The Theme for the Year 2022 World Leprosy Day (WLD) is “United for Dignity”. The World Leprosy day is celebrated on the last Sunday of January. The 2022 event which is marked on January 30 is a campaign which calls for unity in honouring the dignity of people who have experienced leprosy. On this international event, the Yes, We Are Winning Foundation joins the United Nations to raise awareness of the disease, and call for an end to leprosy-related stigma and discrimination.
What is Leprosy
Leprosy, also called Hansen disease, is a chronic bacterial infection primarily affecting the skin and peripheral nerves usually caused by MYCOBACTERIUM LEPRAE. The form the disease takes depends on the person’s immune response to the infection.
Leprosy has been in existence from the time of old. Many who are infected have lost various part of their body due to this ailment. Some with this disease live in silent because they do not want to be stigmatized. The stigmatization of people living with this disease, leave them with no hope of a better life.
Despite new effective treatment and education efforts, leprosy stigma continues to be problematic in developing countries where the disease is common.
Though we need to be careful when we are around this people there is still a need to make them live happy and well. The theme for this year “United for Dignity” indicates the need to put an end to stigmatization.
Can Leprosy Be Cured?
The spread is thought to occur through a cough or contact with fluid from the nose of a person infected by leprosy. Genetic factors and immune function play a role in how easily a person catches the disease. Leprosy does not spread by casual contact with the infected person, like shaking hands, hugging or sitting next to them. Pregnant mothers with leprosy can’t pass it to their unborn babies. Leprosy can be cured.
In the last 2 decades, 16 million people with leprosy have been cured. The World Health Organization provides free treatment for all the people with leprosy. Treatment depends on the type of leprosy that one has. Leprosy can affect people of all races anywhere in the world. However, it is most common in warm, wet areas of the tropics and subtropics. In 2017, over 200,000 new cases of leprosy were registered world-wide. Worldwide prevalence is reported to be around 5.5 million, with 80% of these cases found in 5 countries: India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Brazil, and Nigeria.
“Don’t Forget Leprosy” Campaign
Yohei Sasakawa, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination launched a campaign in August 2021 called “don’t forget leprosy”. Since the coronavirus pandemic, it has been difficult for those livng with this ailment. Lockdown implemented by Governments made it harder for them to access treatment and care living the people with little or no hope to survive.
Data published by WHO in September,2021 for the calendar year 2020 showed a drop in new cases of 37% on the previous year. This evidence that in many countries measures against leprosy, including case detection and treatment have been disrupted by the pandemic. Delays in detecting and treating cases can lead to irreversible physical impairment so it is essential that these services continue. Yohei Sasakawa seeks support of government and health professionals.