The National Archives of Australia hold records on leprosy in files 635/1 – 635/44. These include the following:
MS 9067 Papers of Edwin G. Tscharke (1918-2000)
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.
Entry updated January 2016
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|Address||National Archives of Australia, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia.|
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