International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy




Category Leprosarium
Country China


"From the standpoint of the people and their officials, the status of lepers in Yeungkong remains as it was one thousand years ago. In this province the Baptist Mission has opened a leper colony on an island off the southern coast. The rates are prohibitive for the majority of lepers who are poor.

At Yeungkong those afflicted with this disease congregate at “The Emperor’s Mother’s Village” – named after the mother of the emperor, the former a leper. This place is simply a collection of small mud brick hovels, and is situated about a mile from the east gate of the city on sandy, bare soil. These lepers are compelled to beg, expending all their physical strength travelling weary miles in search of food. Lepers do not live long under such conditions.

This Hospital began work for lepers and found them very responsive and grateful. The reputation of lepers was anything but good when work was started fifteen years ago. The new treatment for leprosy was suggested to them and has been carried on since in a more or less haphazard way. It has been very difficult to get native doctors to go near enough to treat this disease. We have not funds, nor manpower, sufficient to carry a leper hospital; at the most we can but give injections and other dispensary treatment. Teeth are pulled, abscesses and diseased bone treated. Friends in America gave funds for wooden sleeping boxes with screened windows; thus segregating a number. Another friend gave money for a fifteen by thirty foot mud brick chapel, which has been a refuge more than once during severe storms, which unroofed huts, from severe cold winds and heavy rains." (W H Dobson, "Yeungkong" in James L Maxwell, "Ridding China of Leprosy" The China Medical Journal 44 (1930): 771-2)

Textual and historical references to this asylum

Leprosaria - Historical References
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