Dr Jozef Arthur Cap (1924-1996) was born in Nieuwkerken, Belgium. After obtaining medical degrees from the State University or Ohent in 1948 and the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp in 1949, he left with his wife to the then Belgian Congo where he became a public health officer in the Kwangu District, an area in which leprosy was highly prevalent. In 1952 he was put in charge of leprosy control in the Equator Province and, from 1955 to 1960, was Director of the National Leprosy Control Programme in the Belgian Congo. From 1960 to 1971 he was associated with the WHO. He worked successively in Pakistan, Bang!adesh and Thailand; subsequently, as leader of the well-known Leprosy Assessment Team, he carried out major epidemiological surveys in Burma (Myanmar), the Philippines, Colombia and Argentina. From 1967 to 1971 he was senior WHO leprosy advisor in India. In 1971, he became Director of the Leprosy Control Department at ALERT, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From 1978 to 1986, whilst at the lnstitut de Léprologie Appliquée in Dakar, he served as technical adviser to the Minister of Public Health of Senegal. Dr Cap was the author of a considerable number of reports and state of the art presentations regarding the diagnosis of leprosy, control issues and epidemiological studies. He collaborated with a number of nongovernmental organizations, where he was most appreciated for his large experience of leprosy acquired over forty years in various continents. From 1982 to 1988 he was chairman of the Medical Commission of the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP). He was also a member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences.
Reprinted/edited from M. F. Lechat & S. Pattyn, 'J. A. Cap 1924—1996' Leprosy Review (1996), 67, 337.