International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Dr John Lowe

    Status Physician
    Country United Kingdom


    John Lowe was medical secretary of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association (BELRA) from 1954 and honorary secretary of the International Leprosy Association. In 1947 he went to Nigeria under BELRA and served later under the Nigerian Government at the Leprosy Research Centre at Uzuakoli in the Eastern Province. His energies were directed chiefly towards finding an improved form of treatment of leprosy. He was the first to publish satisfactory results with the oral administration of diaminodiphenyl sulfone, adopted as standard treatment in most countries throughout the world and up until the introduction of MDT. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his outstanding work in leprosy.

    International Journal of Leprosy, Centennial Festskrift edition, Vol 41, No 2. 1973.

    Treatment Used/Researched:

    Research Institute(s) associated with:
    Leprosy Research Institute Unit, Uzuakoli, Eastern Nigeria, Nigeria
    At a meeting held in Feburary 1952 to consider the proposals for an informal conference on leprosy research, Cochrane’s notes on the possibility of a BELRA Research Institute in East Africa were circulated. These included a letter from Dr John Lowe, from the Leprosy Research Institute Unit, Uzuakoli, Eastern Nigeria. He wrote: “I am now deeply involved in a big study of immunity and cross immunity in leprosy and TB, using the lepromin test, the tuberculin test and BCG vaccination with a study of its influence on the results of the two tests.”


    Uzuakoli   Dr Lowe was doctor at Uzuakoli 1944-1955. (Information supplied by LEPRA)
    Victoria Leprosy Hospital (Dichpali / Dichpalli)   John Lowe was doctor at Dichpalli 1925-1932, and 1935-1943. (Information supplied by LEPRA)
    The National Archives (United Kingdom)   Lowe's work at Uzuakoli is mentioned in the archival records of the meetings of the Leprosy Committee.
    Kenya National Archives  

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