International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    National Archives of Australia


    Category Institutional Archive
    Country Australia
    Address Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia


    The National Archives of Australia hold records on leprosy in files 635/1 – 635/44. These include the following:

    • General
    • Northern Territory
    • New South Wales
    • Chaulmoogra oil and treatment of leprosy
    • Queensland accommodation for treatment of cases
    • Queensland notification of cases, attd. 20
    • British Empire Leprosy Relief Association, see 990/4
    • Report on leprosy prophylaxis in France.
    • Commission of the Academy of Medicine, 1925
    • Mission to Lepers
    • Western Australia notification of cases
    • Individual history cards
    • Report by Dr Cook on medical survey of Palm Islands, Qld
    • Questionnaire from the Culion Medical Board, Culion, P. Is.
    • 1926 Leprosy in the Pacific – Co-operation Act, NZ Govt, & Govt of Fiji
    • West Australia Survey by Dr Cook, 1923-24 & 25
    • Treatment of [leprosy] with vegetable oils – Article by Director of the Wellcome Chemical Research Labs. 1926
    • Economic and sociological aspects of the leprosy problem in Australia, together with a scheme of compensation for dependents and other affected by action under Leprosy Acts. Report by Dr Cook, March, 1926
    • Dr Molesworth’s article on Criticism by Dr C Cook Anti-Leprosy Campaign, May 1926, report by Dr C E Cook
    • Nastin Treatment
    • Cases in New South Wales, see 635/3
    • Cases in Queensland
    • Queensland – transfer of white patients from Brisbane to Sydney
    • Leprosy on vessels – Cedarback – report of
    • Peel Island, Queensland, Management of
    • General report on leprosy in Australia by Dr Cook, see 362/3
    • “Lepers and Leprosy” summarised report by Dr Cook
    • British Empire Leprosy Relief Association see 990/4
    • Investigation into the leprosy situation – Resolution by Federal Health Council
    • Epidemiology of Leprosy in Australia, by Dr Cook
    • Publication of Dr Cook's Wandaworth [sic?] Scholarship
    • Report on Leprosy
    • An Argentine Greek Leper who left Darwin for Singapore 1925 and who is believed to have returned to Fremantle by Steamer “Centaur”, 1927
    • Rats – leprosy-like disease in, see 919/15
    • Leprosy, Venereal Disease and Malaria among natives in North West of WA
    • Survey by State Health WA
    • Case of Mary McCabe half-caste aborigine of Prahran arriving from Darwin four years ago. Oct 1927
    • Ordinance submitted by CMO regarding Control of Leprosy in the Northern Territory, see 715/10
    • Nauru
    • C E Budger cost of maintenance while patient in NSW State Lazarette
    • International Investigation by Health Organisation of the League of Nations
    • Transfer of “lepers”from Northern Australia to Peel Island Lazarette
    • Transfer of “lepers” to Lazarette at Darwin
    • Dilo Oil
    • Chaulmoogra Oil 945/5
    • Dr Cook’s report on leprosy in Australia, see 635/26
    • New Guinea
    • South Australia Epidemiology of – Resn.
    • Federal Health Council 1931
    • International Leprosy Association
    • Human and Rat Leprosy – see 919/15
    • Expedition, under Dr A Torrance, to New Guinea and other Islands (1933)
    • Thick Drop Method of Demonstration, by Dr M Sardjits & J B Sitanala
    • Victoria Report. Drs Cilento and North – see 919/15
    • Leprous cases in Commonwealth – Methodical Action by States and Commonwealth – see 635/9
    • Legislation: States of Australia See 635/38
    • Claim by E Y Westerland, Darwin, that he has discovered cause of cancer and leprosy. See file 125/1
    • West Australia – Request from State Government for Financial Assistance
    • Notes on investigation into thick-drop method of diagnosis in leprosy by Dr T M Clouston. See 635/1
    • Establishment at Gemo of hospital for treatment of Leprosy and Tuberculosis. See 775/12
    • £500 originally granted by National Health and Medical Research Council detached from 635/43 and now on 690/8/106 (Cilento)
    • Drugs and Treatment

    MS 9067 Papers of Edwin G. Tscharke (1918-2000)

    Papers (1930-1998)

    These papers were donated by Dr Edwin Tscharke in two installments, one in December 1997, and a small addition in December 1998.

    The collection documents aspects of life in remote Papua New Guinea, and in particular the process of establishing a primary care health facility with local community involvement. The bulk of the collection comprises 235 administrative files created and maintained by Tscharke, which are found in Series 2 and 3. They contain correspondence, reports, research proposals, teaching notes and manuals, minutes of meetings, hospital records, statistical records and miscellaneous papers, mainly relating to the Lutheran Gaubin District Hospital, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea and the associated training school. While there are some early papers, the majority relate to activities in the 1970s-80s. Much of the material consists of photocopies, with the originals being retained at the Gaubin District Hospital archives.

    Also included in the collection are folders of personal correspondence, photographs and slides, computer disks containing data copied from hospital records, and copies of Tscharke's publications.

    Edwin Gerhard Tscharke was a Lutheran missionary, hospital administrator, health educator and physician. He was born into a Lutheran family at Neales Flat, South Australia on 25 December 1918.

    In 1947 Tscharke was sent by the Lutheran Church to the island of Karkar, off the coast of Madang in New Guinea to set up and run a hospital on behalf of the Lutheran Medical Services. When Tscharke arrived on the island, the population was approximately 8,000, and there were no medical facilities. Tropical diseases were rife amongst the indigenous people, and mortality rates were high. By the time he retired forty-one years later in 1988, the population was over 30,000, and he had established a 200 bed District Hospital at Gaubin. He had been instrumental in controlling the diseases which had so badly effected the population on his arrival. In 1966, in order to involve the local community in primary health care, Tscharke set up a training school for nurses and aid post orderlies who could staff outpost medical centres. He wrote a number of manuals, texts and teaching guides, aimed at providing relevant information to the indigenous people.

    Tscharke's approach in involving the local community in primary health care was acclaimed in 1984 by a World Health Organisation representative as being 30 years ahead of the rest of the world, in relation to providing health care in third world countries. In addition to this, the medical records he meticulously maintained over the years have been recognised by academic bodies and individuals as a valuable primary resource for research purposes.

    SERIES 2 Numbered files, 1943-98 (Bulk 1970-80s)

    Tscharke created and maintained a numerical filing system for his extensive administrative files and records. This series consists of the files created under this system. The records relate mainly to the administrative processes involved in the running of the Gaubin district hospital and the training school. Material includes correspondence, reports, research proposals, teaching notes and manuals, minutes of meetings, hospital records, statistical records and miscellaneous papers.

    • 98a 'Leprosy monthly report Gaubin district hospital 1975-1988'. Photocopied reports
    • 99b 'Leprosy/tuberculosis records'. Photocopied correspondence, teaching notes, statistics and records relating to the treatment of leprosy and tuberculosis, 1973-85 [4-1-1]

    Entry updated January 2016


    Name Archivist
    Organization National Archives of Australia
    Address National Archives of Australia, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia.
    Telephone 00 61 (0)2 6212 3900
    Fax 00 61 (0)2 6212 3999

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