International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy




    Category Leprosarium
    Country China
    Address Foochow, Fukien
    Current Address Fuzhou, Fujian


    Rev T C Wu, General Secretary of the newly formed Chinese Mission to Lepers, visited Foochow in 1926. He wrote:

    Though Foochow is thick with leprosy, yet very little has been done toward solving the problem. There are two leper villages in the city: one outside of the East Gate and the other outside of the West Gate, having about 150 and 120 lepers, respectively. In the former, the Methodist Mission maintains a chapel with an evangelist; in the latter, the Anglican Mission does the same, and Dr. H. D. Mathews goes to the village once every week to give injections. The general condition in both villages needs radical reform and improvement. One of the most objectionable things in the eyes of any visitor who knows something about leprosy is the wholesale mixture. In the first place, there is the mixture of the healthy and the lepers. I saw many normal people living together with the lepers in such a comfortable and easy manner as if leprosy were nothing to them. I am told that these people are the bosses of the villages, owning all the houses, rice fields, and fish ponds. They get a pretty good income from their leper tenents, so naturally they are unwilling to give up their old villages unless they are forced to. In the second place, there is the mixture of the male and female lepers. Leprosy may not be hereditary, but the reproduction of the unfit ought to be checked. As the condition prevails now, the lepers have perfect liberty to reproduce their kind. In the third place, there is a mixture of the leprous parents and their untainted children. I saw scores of little children who were health and normal living together with their leprous parents of most advanced stage in most crowded hovels. The condition was intolerable. Having got the auxiliary properly started ... we may hope that something definite will be done in Foochow to improve the terrible leper condition in the very near future.

    Source: T C Wu (General Secretary of the Chinese Mission to Lepers), "A report of my trip to South China", The Leper Quarterly, 1 (1927): 13-28, at pp. 25-27.

    Entry created 10 January, 2007.

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