International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Dr Yasin Al-Qubati

    Status Physician
    Country Yemen


    Dr Yasin Al-Qubati is an advisor to Yemen’s Ministry of Health in Communicable Diseases and the Yemen Representative of the German Leprosy Relief Association. He has played a significant role in leprosy relief and education in Yemen. He has been a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Committee and a WHO temporary advisor on leprosy programs in India, Libya, and Indonesia.

    After obtaining his qualification as a dermatologist in 1980, he worked as a part-time consultant with Mother Teresa’s organisation, the Missionaries of Charity, at the City of Light leprosarium in Taiz.

    In the 1980s, he drew international attention to the leprosy problem in Yemen by publishing articles about the situation in medical journals and contacting health organisations worldwide. He obtained assistance and financial aid from WHO and the German Leprosy Relief Association. This led to the 1989 establishment of Yemen’s National Leprosy Elimination Program (NLEP) in Taiz.

    Within Yemen, Al-Qubati worked against the fear and prejudice about leprosy by visiting villages where patients were living and speaking to gatherings of people. He disseminated information to the media and wrote newspaper articles to generate community awareness. He also persuaded officials and social leaders to visit leprosaria, and established a national tradition, Kaidoon Festival, as a day of leprosy awareness and education.

    In 1990, he published an Arabic leprosy manual, ‘Together for Elimination of Leprosy’, which has been regularly updated and remained in distribution.

    He helped obtain funds to upgrade the leprosarium in Mukalla-Hadramout by visiting Saudi Arabia and collecting funds from immigrant Yemeni merchants.

    In 1992, Al-Qubati established a nongovernmental organisation, the Yemen Leprosy Elimination Society (YELEP), to support NLEP activities.

    He negotiated with the University of California to obtain funds for a Skin and Venereal Disease Hospital at the City of Light in Taiz


    He gained increased support for NLEP by negotiating with Yemen-based and international NGOs.

    As a WHO Temporary Advisor, he helped evaluate leprosy programs in India, Libya, and Indonesia.

    He has received honours for his work in the control of leprosy and other diseases, including the 1997 Hayel Saeed Anam Award for Sciences and Arts; he was also named 1997 Person of the Year by the Yemen Times.

    He retired as Director of NLEP in 2000, and currently works as the Secretary of the Yemen Leprosy Elimination Society and as Yemen Representative of the German Leprosy Relief Association.


    Al-Qubati, Yasin, and Abdul Samad Al-Kubati. "Dermatologists combat leprosy in Yemen." International journal of dermatology 36.12 (1997): 920-922.

    DAHW Deutsche Lepra- und Tuberkulosehilfe e.V. "Dr Yasin Al-Qubati - Jemen." Online:


    Al-Qubati Y, Ostler HB, Noordeen SK. "Leprosy in the Yemen Arab Republic" Leprosy Review 56 (1985): 347-9.

    Barbancon C, Rath S, Al-Qubati Y. "Hansen's Disease: Computed Tomography Findings in Peripheral Nerve Lesions" Ann. Radiol 32 (1989):579-81.

    Leonard G, Sangare A, Verdier M, Sassou-Guesseau E, Al-Qubati Y, Milan J, M' Boup S, Rey JL, Dumas JL, Hugon J, N' Gaporo I, Denis F. "Prevalence of HIV Infection among Patients with Leprosy in African Countries and Yemen" J. Acq. Immun. Defic. Synd 3(1990):1109-13.

    Denis F, Aussel L, Ranger S, Martin P, Itoua-N'Gaporo A, Frommel D, Teckle-Haimanot RT, Sangare A, M'Boup S, Millan J & Al-Qubati Y. "Prevalence of Antibodies to Hepatitis C Virus among Patients with Leprosy in Several African Countries and the Yemen" J. Med. Virol 43 (1994):1-4.

    Al-Qubati Y. Together for Elimination of Leprosy, a 120-page Arabic manual on leprosy control. First edition 1994

    Abdul Rahim Al-Samie & Al-Qubati Y. "`Flu' Syndrome on Monthly Rifampin Dose; First Case Reported from Yemen" IJL 63 (1995):574-6.

    Mekhlafi GA & Al-Qubati Y. "Retrospective Analysis of 194 Leprosy Cases in the Republic of Yemen" Indian Jl. Lepr 68 (1996):227-33.

    Al-Qubati Y. "Leprosy in Yemen" World Health, 49th Year, No.3, May-June 1996:18-9.


    City of Light Leprosarium   After his graduation as a Dermatologist in 1980, Dr.Al-Qubati started working as a part-time consultant with the nuns of the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s Organization) at the City of Light leprosarium in Taiz. Seeing the miserable condition of the people in the leprosarium, he took the initiative of corresponding with the local and international non-government organizations.
    Mukalla-Hadramout Leprosarium   Dr. Al-Qubati visited Saudi Arabia and collected funds from the immigrant Yemeni merchants. This fund was used for a project of upgrading the leprosarium in Mukalla-Hadramout to a 50-bed skin and venereal diseases hospital and healthier housing for the rejected patients in Hadramout .
    Al-Qubati, Dr Yasin - Personal Collection  

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