International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Dr Hugh Alistair Cross

    Status Physician
    Country United Kingdom


    Hugh Cross (1951-) is a podiatrist with professional interests in the prevention of impairment and disability in leprosy, especially concerning wound care, foot appliances / orthoses, facilitating self-care, nerve function, attitudes and health beliefs and empowerment through community based programmes. He has lived in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, the UK, and the Philippines, and currently lives in Nepal.

    From 1990 to 1996 he studied at Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, gaining a BSc in Podiatric Medicine and a PhD on 'The Effectiveness Of Foot Orthoses As A Treatment For Plantar Ulceration In Leprosy: A Study Of The Efficacy, Acceptability, Appropriateness And Implementation Of A Podiatric Regimen.'

    In 1996-7 he joined an independent podiatric consultancy supported by The Leprosy Mission International, Nepal Leprosy Trust and Lepra U.K. During this period he trained field workers at major Leprosy Mission Institutions in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. He also conducted a similar programme for Lepra India and contributed to a Disability Prevention Workshop at ALERT (Ethiopia).

    From 1997 to 2000 he was Acting Services Director of the Nepal Leprosy Trust. This entailed responsibility for the management and development of the range of medical and social services offered at Lalgadh Leprosy Services Centre. Dr Cross oversaw the development POID - Prevention of Impairment and Disability - practices (i.e. training, research and quality assurance), podiatry services and a Self Care Training Centre (SCTC).

    In March 2000 he became Programme Director for Lalgadh Leprosy Services, a Nepal Leprosy Trust project.

    In September 2001 he was appointed Regional Prevention of Impairment and Disability Consultant (Asian Region) for American Leprosy Missions, involving extensive travel across India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, China and the Philippines and conducting various operations on behalf of the American Leprosy Missions, including strategic planning, programme monitoring, training, writing and research.

    He has participated in the evaluation of national leprosy programmes in The Philippines, Myanmar and The People Republic of China (Guizhou Province only) and in numerous INGO program evaluations.

    His current main research project, entitled 'The Force', is a programme of studies that examine sub pedal force related parameters associated with human kinematics, footwear, appliances and materials. He is also involved in other research into hormonal triggers of reaction in leprosy, impairment scale development and the dynamics of dependency amongst people affected by leprosy.

    Dr Cross has presented numerous papers and workshops on issues related to the prevention of disability in leprosy in general at diverse international venues.


    1. "The Efficacy of Podiatric Orthoses As An Adjunct To The Treatment Of Plantar Ulceration In Leprosy'' Leprosy Review 66 (1995): 144-157.
    2. ''Plantar ulceration in Patients with Leprosy'' Journal of Wound Care 9 (1996): 406-411. (This publication won the Johnson and Johnson Wound Care Award under the category for Original Research) .
    3. ''Leprosy'' in Common Foot Disorders, ed Lorimer and French. Edinburgh: Churchill and Livingstone, 2001.
    4. ''An Intensive Self Care Training Programme Reduces Admissions for the treatment of Plantar Ulcers'' Leprosy Review 72.3 (2001): 276-84.
    5. ''Assessment and Management of the Neurologically Impaired Foot'', Leprosy Review 72.3 (2001): 254-62.
    6. ''Complications and Management of the Neurologically Impaired Foot'', Leprosy Review 72.3 (2001): 263-75.
    7. ''Wound Care for People Affected by Leprosy: A guide for low resource situations'', American Leprosy Missions, 2003 pdf.
    8. ''Biomechanical Assessment of the Foot'', in Surgical Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in Leprosy and Other Neuropathies, ed Schwarz and Brandsma. Kathmandu: Ekta Books, 2004.
    9. ''Foot Orthotic Therapy'', in Surgical Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in Leprosy and Other Neuropathies ed Schwarz and Brandsma. Kathmandu: Ekta Books, 2004.
    10. ''Consensus Methods: A Bridge Between Clinical Reasoning and Clinical Research?'' The International Journal of Leprosy and Other Microbacterial Diseases 73 ( 2005): 28-32.
    11. ''A Delphi Consensus on Criteria for Contraindications, Assessment Indicators and Expected Outcomes Related to Tibialis Posterior Transfer Surgery'' The International Journal of Leprosy and Other Microbacterial Diseases 73 (2005):13-21.
    12. ''Self Care: A Catalyst For Community Development'' The Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal 16.2 (2005).
    13. ''STEP: An Intervention to Address the Issue of Stigma Related to Leprosy in Southern Nepal'' Leprosy Review 76.4 (2005): 316-324.
    14. ''Stigma Destroys the Spirit'' in Contagious Compassion ed Edgar Stoesz. Franklin Tenesee: Providence House Publishers, 2006.
    15. ''ILEP Field Guide - Prevention of Disability'' (collaborative project ). Accepted for publication - to be released in December 2005.
    16. ''The Continuing Challenge of Neurologically Impaired Feet'', British Journal of Podiatry 9.2 (2006): 55-59.
    17. ''Interventions to Address The Issue of Stigma Associated with Leprosy: A Perspective on The Issues''. In press. The American Journal of Psychology.

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