International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

Timeline

Timeline Search

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1924 Founding of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association (BELRA) to "rid the Empire of leprosy". The founding members were Sir Leonard Rogers, Sir Frank Carter and Rev Frank Oldrieve. [Epidemiology, BELRA] [North America]
1925 Indian Council of BELRA established January 27, 1925. [BELRA] [India]
1925 Frank Oldrieve visited India. The Indian Branch of BELRA was formed, and an appeal for funds was made by the Viceroy, Lord Reading. The Foundation of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association (BELRA) and its First Twenty-One Years Work by Sir Leonard Rogers, London: The British Leprosy Relief Association, 1943. [BELRA] [India]
1925 Practically all the known cases of leprosy had been found in the eastern districts of Teso, Lango, and Mbale (Anti-Leprosy Measures in the Uganda Protectorate, 1824-51) in “Leprosy Incidence and Control in East Africa, 1924-1952 and the Outlook” by Leonard Rogers, Leprosy Review 25.1 (1954): 41-59 [BELRA, Sir Leonard Rogers] [Africa, Uganda]
1926 Frank Oldrieve visited West Africa. Branches were formed in Nigeria and the Gold Coast, and a whole-time doctor was appointed in each Colony as secretary and leprosy expert.
Source: The Foundation of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association (BELRA) and its First Twenty-One Years of Work by Sir Leonard Rogers. London: British Empire Leprosy Relief Association, 1945: p 14. [BELRA] [Africa]
1926 Frank Oldrieve visited the West Indies and British Guiana. Several local branches of BELRA were formed, but with little practical result owing to lack of funds. The Foundation of the British Empire Lprosy Relief Association (BELRA) and its First Twenty-One Years of Work by Sir Leonard Rogers. London: British Empire Leprosy Relief Association, 1945. p 14. [BELRA] [British Guiana, West Indies]
1927 Frank Oldrieve's tour from Cairo to Cape, through the whole of British East Africa and South Africa (culmination of three years' visits).
Source: Leprosy Notes, 1 (1928): 6. BELRA cites “158 000 lepers being treated in our African possessions" and 100,000 doses of Alepol distributed. [Epidemiology, Treatment, People, BELRA] [Africa]
1927 Executive Committee of BELRA report published: "A Problem of Empire Suffering". [Publications, Organisation, BELRA]
1927 Dr Santra was appointed as Propaganda Officer of BELRA Indian Council. [People, BELRA, Orissa] [India]
1927 Dr Cochrane toured through East Africa from Egypt to South Africa and to North and South Rhodesia. He was able to give much valuable advice to leprosy workers and wrote full reports on the position in each area visited. Here, too, lack of funds greatly restricted progress. The Foundation of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association (BELRA) and its First Twenty-One Years of Work by Sir Leonard Rogers. London: British Empire Leprosy Relief Association, 1945. p 14-5. [BELRA] [Africa]
1927 The first Secretary of BELRA, Mr. Frank Oldrieve, toured East Africa. There were altogether 924 cases under treatment (Anti-Leprosy Measures in the Uganda Protectorate, 1824-51) in “Leprosy Incidence and Control in East Africa, 1924-1952 and the Outlook” by Leonard Rogers, Leprosy Review 25.1 (1954): 41-59 [BELRA, Sir Leonard Rogers] [Africa, Uganda]
1927 A new preparation of Chaulmoogra oil came into use for the treatment of leprosy and was sent out by BELRA to all parts of the Empire, both to Government Medical Officers and missionaries. Later in this year, Dr Ernest Muir fund a simple way of giving the oil without blocking the veins of patients. This was based on the idea developed by Sir Leonard Rogers, but less painful to deliver. Messrs Burroughs, Wellcome and Co put the new formula on the market under the name of Alepol. [Treatment, BELRA]
1927 Sudan: In his report "The British Empire Leprosy Relief Association: Statement Concerning Leprosy Work in British Colonies in Africa, with Special Reference to the Possibilities of the Situation from the Missionary Standpoint" to BELRA, Frank Oldrieve estimated that in a population of approximately 6,170,000 in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, there were 6,000 leprosy affected, and out of those, approximately 200 were being treated. The number of workers actually treating leprosy were four. The missionary societies working there were the CMS (in charge of Omdurman and with a treatment centre at Lui, in Southern Sudan, under Dr Fraser); the Sudan United Mission (at Melut on the Nile, under Dr Trudinger); and the American Mission (at Nasser). [Epidemiology, People, BELRA, Missionary Organisations] [Africa, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Egypt]
1927 Uganda: Frank Oldrieve reported that the Church Missionary Society were already doing leprosy work in Uganda, at Ng'ora. This work was to be extended with support from the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association (BELRA) under the direction of Dr Wiggins. The idea was that Ng'ora would become a treatment centre for the Eastern Provinces. The CMS would also develop work in the southern part of Uganda, as well. He also reported that the Roman Catholic Missions were prepared to do their share of leprosy work. Dr Wiggins was to become the Honorary Secretary of the Ugandan branch of BELRA, and this would organise work in several parts of the Protectorate. At this time, he estimated that in a population of 3,145,000 people, they were 20,000 affected by the disease, and 600 being either segregated or treated. There were aproximately six workers actually treating the disease.
Source: Frank Oldrieve, The British Empire Leprosy Relief Association, "Statement Concerning Leprosy Work in British Colonies in Africa, with Special Reference to the Possibilities of the Situation from the Missionary Standpoint", 1927?

In a separate report "Memorandum on Leprosy Work in the Uganda Protectorate", Oldrieve recommended that a Uganda Branch of BELRA be formed with a central committee centered in Entebbe or Kampala (consisting of representatives from the Government, the Protestant and Roman Catholic Missions, the business community and the Chiefs); a small representative committee for each Province (consisting of the Provincial Commissioner, and medical and missionary representatives). Additional recommendations were for a survey; a Central Treatment Hospital in each Province or District (with priority to be given to early cases); treatment at dispensaries where trained African assistants were in attendance; incentives such as tax remittance to early cases who presented themselves; establishment of leper villages; provision for healthy children; school education campaigns; and growth of Hydnocarpus Wightiana and Hydnocarpus Anthelmintica trees. He suggested that Government finance be supplemented by support from the Mission to Lepers and BELRA. [Treatment, People, BELRA, Missionary Organisations] [Uganda]
1927 Kenya: In 1927, a survey of a population of 128,147, on the shores of Lake Victoria, revealed 461 leprosy cases, or 3.6 per mille. The British Empire Leprosy Relief Association (BELRA) was providing support. The Secretary of BELRA, Mr. Oldrieve, toured East Africa.
Source: Leonard Rogers, "Leprosy Incidence and Control in East Africa, 1924-1952 and the Outlook" Leprosy Review 25.1 (1954): 41-59. [Epidemiology, BELRA, Sir Leonard Rogers] [Africa, Kenya]
1927 Kenya: Frank Oldrieve reported that at Maseno, in Kenya, some 20 miles from Kisumu, on Lake Victoria, Nyanza, there was a good mission hospital run by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) where leprosy treatment was given to patients who attended the outpatient department. He reported that "This Hospital is doing excellent work …. There is every chance of the work growing to much larger proportions. This is important for us to know as there has been a proposal that a leper village, or settlement, should be built on Government land adjoining the Mission property, the idea being that the CMS Doctors could take charge of the institution."

He also reported on his visit to Tumutumu "where the Church of Scotland Mission have a splendid work, with Dr Philp in charge. It is at the base of Mount Kenya and beautifully situated. The Doctor has been doing some leper work on a small scale, but would like to increase it, and indeed, it appears that there is a good deal of need for more to be done in that part of the Kikuyu country. I much hope that Dr Philp will be able to extend his leprosy work, and I trust that the Mission to Lepers will be able to help him if he seeks their aid." (Frank Oldrieve, British Empire Leprosy Relief Association, Secretary's Report No 5, "Report on Tour in Kenya Colony and Protectorate", 1927)
[Treatment, People, BELRA, Missionary Organisations] [Africa, Kenya]
1927 Kenya: In his 1927 "Memorandum on Leprosy Work in Kenya Colony and Protectorate", Frank Oldrieve recommended that the Acting Governor of the Colony be asked to form a Kenya Branch of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association (BELRA). He suggested that there be a colony near Mombasa, to take the place of the colony at Malindi. He suggested that small huts be used, not large buildings, and as much as possible of ordinary village life be provided for. He also suggested that there be a village at Maseno, near the CMS hospital, and the work at Kakamega be transferred there. He also suggested that the latest treatment be available at all the hospitals, that special attention be given to healthy children, and educational campaigns be undertaken. [Treatment, People, BELRA] [Africa, Kenya]
1928 Clare Aveling Wiggins worked first in British East Africa (from 1901) and later transferred to the Ugandan protectorate in 1909 where he remained until his retirement in 1923. He retired with the rank of director of medical services. In 1927, he went back to Uganda for four years as a medical missionary with the CMS and with the aid of BELRA founded the leprosarium at Kumi-Ongingo in Teso. He is referred to in Leprosy Notes 2 (1928): 18
(Photos of Kumi Hospital). [People, BELRA] [Africa]
1928 Kenya: BELRA aim to provide treatment centres at every hospital or medical centre where a suitably qualified person is able to carry out the work. [Treatment, BELRA] [Africa]
1928 Leprosy Notes was begun by Rev Frank Oldrieve in order to provide information to field workers. The Annual General Meeting for BELRA was published in Leprosy Notes, 1 (1928). [People, Organisation, BELRA]
1928 Recipients of BELRA grants listed in Leprosy Notes, 2 (1928): 20.
Italian Consolata Mission, Iringa, Tanganyika; Benedictine Mission, Ndanda, Tanganyika; White Fathers' Mission, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika; Universities Mission, Liuli, Tanganyika; White Fathers' Mission, Mua, Nyasaland; Dutch Reformed Church Mission, Mkhoma, Nyasaland; Church of Scotland Mission, Zomba, Nyasaland; Seventh Day Adventist Mission, Malamulo, Nyasaland; Church Missionary Society Hospital, Kigezi, Uganda; Seventh Day Adventist Mission, Fort Jameson, N Rhodesia. [BELRA] [Africa]
1928 Executive Committee of BELRA report "Some Questions of Empire Suffering", Leprosy Notes, 5 (April 1929: 1) attracted comment in The Times. [BELRA]
1928 There were 889 cases under treatment in the Eastern, and 717 in the Northern area: a total of 1,910 [sic] (Anti-Leprosy Measures in the Uganda Protectorate, 1824-51) in “Leprosy Incidence and Control in East Africa, 1924-1952 and the Outlook” by Leonard Rogers, Leprosy Review 25.1 (1954): 41-59 [BELRA, Sir Leonard Rogers] [Africa, Uganda]
1928 Sudan: As the second part, Leprosy in Europe, The Middle and Near East and Africa (London: World Dominion Press, 1928), of his attempt to carry out a world survey of leprosy, Robert G Cochrane wrote that it was difficult to give anything near a correct estimate of leprosy in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.There was apparently little leprosy in Northern and Central Sudan (probably only 350 affected, allowing for early cases), and in the Nuba Mountains Provinces there may have been 500. But in the extreme south (in the Mongalla and Bahr-el-Ghazal provinces), there were at least 1,000 in each province. Indeed, in some parts of the south, the incidence may have been as high as twenty per thousand, and it was doubtful if these figures included many early cases. (23) [Epidemiology, People, BELRA] [Africa, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Sudan]
1928 Uganda: Cochrane reported that "Of the prevalence of leprosy in Uganda, the principal Government Medical Officer reports that 'the incidence is estimated at two per thousand of the population. Legal powers which enforce segregation of leprosy are embodied in the Infectious Disease Ordinance of 1922, but these are mostly exercized in townships only; if carried further, antagonism might result among the natives.' There are Leper Camps in Busiro, Teso, Budo and Bunyoro: there is no fixed staff, but the Government Medical Officer of the district and members of his staff visit the hospitals, dispensaries and camps where regular treatment is given."
Source: Robert Cochrane, Leprosy in Europe. The Middle East and near East and Africa, London: World Dominion Press, 1928. [Epidemiology, Treatment, Legislation, BELRA] [Africa, Uganda]
1929 Dichpali now recognised by the Indian Council of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association as the teaching centre for Southern India (for education of Medical Officers). Also in mentioned in Rogers on "Training Leprosy Workers", Leprosy Notes, 5 (1929): 21-2. [BELRA] [India]
1929 BELRA Grants for Leprosy Work listed in Leprosy Notes 4 (1929): 2
Committee of the Uganda Branch of the Association; Seventh Day Adventist Mission, Malamulo, Nyasaland; Seventh Day Adventist Mission, Mwami, Northern Rhodesia; United Free Church Mission, Bandawe, Nyasaland; Sudan United Mission for Nigerian stations; Sudan United Mission, Vom, N Nigeria; Bethel Mission, Tanga, Tanganyika; Dr Peacock, Leprosy Clinic, Mandalay; American Mission, Nasser, Sudan; Dutch Reformed Church Mission, Madzimoyo, N Rhodesia; Church of Scotland Mission, Kikuyu, Kenya; London Missionary Society, Kawimbe, N Rhodesia; Seventh Day Adventist Mission, Gendia, Kenya. [BELRA] [Africa]
1929 BELRA branches in Great Britain: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, Aberdeen, Dundee, Hull, Plymouth, Brighton, Hove, Rugby, Worcester, Cheltenham (lantern lectures). [BELRA] [Europe]
1929 BELRA Grants for Leprosy Work Leprosy Notes, 5 (1929): 24.
Tanganyika: Universities Mission, Lulindi; Dr Keevill (Moravian Mission); Father Medard (Capuchin Mission); Dr Puff (Moravian Mission).
Nyasaland: Dr Wigan (Universities Mission); Dr Erickson (7th Day Adventist Mission).
Nigeria: Dr Hewstone (Brethren Mission); Dr Robertson (Brethren Mission).
Sudan: Dr Fraser (CMS); Dr W L Mills (Sudan United Mission). [People, BELRA] [Africa]
1929 Cochrane takes over from Oldrieve as Secretary of BELRA. Source: Leprosy Notes, 6 (1929): 2. [People, BELRA]
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