International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Dr Isabel Kerr

    Status Medical Missionary
    Country United Kingdom


    Isabel Kerr (1875-1932), born Isabel Gunn, was a Scottish medical missionary who, with her husband George McGlashan Kerr, founded a leprosarium (the Victoria Leprosy Hospital) in Dichpalli (Dichpali).

    The following is quoted from an obituary notice in The British Journal of Nursing, January 1933, page 22.

    'Dr. Isabel Kerr, a medical missionary who was one of the foremost authorities on the treatment of leprosy in India, has died at Dishpali, the Methodist Leper Home and Hospital near Nizamabad, of which for the past 12 years she had been the medical superintendent. Struck with the great need for a leper home in the area, she and her husband chose a beautiful site six miles from Nizamabd and, with money given for the purpose by a devout Hindu, began to build. When Sir Leonard Rogers made great discovery of the remedial value of the injection of the essential principle from chaulmoogra oil, the home developed into a hospital.

    In 1923 Dr. Kerr was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind Gold Medal in recognition of her services. Her medical skill and her devotion to the cause of the leper, together with her modest reserve and womanly charm, won her innumerable friends both in India and at home.'


    Study on leprosy in women, Leprosy Review, 3.4 (1932):165.

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