The Madras Leper Hospital and leprosy management in 19th century

Ramya Raman, Jane Buckinghman, Anantanarayanan Raman

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Leprosy remained a major public-health issue in India until the later decades of 20th century. The National Leprosy Eradication Programme, launched in 1955,contributed to reasonably effective management. Henry Carter (1831'1897) of Bombay Medical Service, after his travel in Norway studying the epidemiology of leprosy, issued an extensive memorandum to the government on leprosy management in 1884. By the 1880s, approximately 120,000 patients of leprosy (PoLs) existed in India, which is suggested to have dropped to 102,000 by the 1920s. In British India, the Madras Presidency had the lowest number of PoLs, yet the maximal government-supported treatment for the illness and asylums (' hospitals). The biology of Mycobacterium leprae (Actinomycetales: Mycobacteriaceae) was known only in 1874. How leprosy management occurred in the Madras Presidency, before 1874, forms the remainder of this note. This note builds on a paper by the Madras surgeon van-Someren, with supplementary remarks and relevant annotations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1354-1357
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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