International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Dr Huan-Ying Li

    Status Physician
    Country China


    Dr Li Huan-Ying attended medical school at the National Tung Chi University in 1945. She worked as a research assistant in the department of Bacteriology at the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University from 1946 until 1950. From 1950 until 1953, she served as a Technical Expert for the WHO Treponematosis Project in Indonesia, and from 1954 until 1957, served as the Technical Expert for the WHO VD Project in Burma.

    From 1959 until 1978, Dr Li Huan-Ying was Associate Professor at the Institute of Dermatology at the Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, and in 1979, became Professor at the Beijing Tropical Medicine Research Institute, at which time she was assigned to the Leprosy Control and Research Program by the Beijing Tropical Medicine Research Institute.

    On a WHO Fellowship, she visited the following in 1980-81: Dr CC Shepard at the Communicable Diseases Centre, Atlanta, Ga, USA; Dr RJW Rees at the National Institutes for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, UK; Dr KV Desikan at the Central Jalma Institute for Leprosy, Agra, India; Dr M Christian, at the Schieffelin Leprosy Research & Training Center, Karigiri, Tamil Nadu, S. India; Dr H Srinivasan, at the Central Leprosy Teaching and Research Institute, Chengalpattu, Madras, S. India; Dr KY Lee, at the Sungei Bulloh Leprosarium, Kuala Lumpur, and Dr Kya Lwin, at the Department of Health, Rangoon. She also made field visits to Myingyan & Singu, Mandalay, Myanmar.

    She has conducted leprosy research and fieldwork in the following areas and over the following years:

    In 1979, three villages of Mengla County, Yunnan Province, including leprosy patients and family members, were selected for a chemotherapy study. Short-term multidrug therapy was conducted over 24 months, using a three-drug regimen for active multibacillary leprosy. (Clofazime - 2 kilograms in 100 mg capsules - were donated by The World Health Organization and The Damien Foundation. Rifampicin and dapsone were provided by the local government.)

    Between 1983-1985, 47 active multibacillary (MB) patients from leprosy villages in Mengla County, Yunnan Province, were selected and treated over 27 months on MB MDT.

    Between 1983-1985, 33 active MB patients from 10 counties of the Weifang Prefecture, in the Shandong Province were selected and treated with MDT. They completed their course of treatment in 24 months.

    From 1985-1995, annual clinical and bacilliary index follow-ups were conducted. In addition, histopathology was conducted at the beginning and the end of treatment and also in suspected clinical relapses during the surveillance period. No relapses were detected.

    She has also been involved in the following WHO supported leprosy control and field research projects:

    Between October 1985 until December 1990, a collaborative leprosy control programme with short-duration MDT was conducted in 7 prefectures of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan Provinces. This involved 59 counties with a combined population of 12,000,000 in 1985.

    From January 1983 until December 1995, a field trial of fixed-duration combined chemotherapy involving 24 monthly doses in multibacillary leprosy was conducted.

    From January 1991 until December 1997, the collaborative leprosy control programme and the field trial of fixed duration were extended.

    From January 1984 until December 1991, an immuno-epidemiologic survey for relapse after dapsone therapy was conducted.

    From January 1994 until December 1997 a longitudinal study of risk factors for relapse in leprosy was conducted for patients cured with fixed duration MDT was conducted.

    From January 1993 until December 1994 a drug resistance survey was conducted in leprosy patients cured with dapsone plus rifampicin.

    From January 1994 until December 1995 a field trial in the feasibility of using the primary health system in the detection of leprosy was conducted.

    From January 1995 until December1997, a study on the impact on the elimination of leprosy by integration of vertical activities into the primary health system (HSR) was conducted.

    A study supported by The Heiser Program for Research in Leprosy and Tuberculosis, New York, USA, lasting from January 1984 until December 1999, dealt with the early diagnosis of subclinical leprosy and relapse.

    The following training courses have also been conducted:

    November 1985 in Xichang
    Sponsored by WHO
    Training Course on Leprosy Control with Short-term MDT (FD MDT)
    Lecturers: M Christiam and RRJacobson

    December 1985 in Chengdu
    Sponsored by WHO
    Training Course on Standardization of BI technique
    Lecturers: Hu Lu-Fang (LW)and Liu Xue-Ming (Tech)

    October 1994 in Bijie
    Sponsored by WHO
    Training Course on Life-table and Surveillance
    Lecturers: Li Huan-Ying, Yang Zhong-Ming,and Yuan Lian-Chao

    April 1994 in Wenshan
    Sponsored by WHO
    Training Course on Surveillance of Relapse after Rifampin and Dapsone therapy
    Lecturers: Li Huan-Ying, Li Fu-Tian, Weng Xiao-Man, and Zhu Kang (Tech)

    May 1994 in Wenshan
    Sponsored by ILEP
    Training Course on Self-care & Prevention
    Lecturer: Jean Watson

    No date in Xichang
    Sponsored by Orbis
    Training Course on Care of the eye in leprosy
    Lecturers: Drs.Paul and Susan Courtright

    May 1994 in Chengdu
    Sponsored by ALM
    Training Course on Histopathology in early leprosy
    Lecturer Drs.W.M. Meyers & C.K. Job

    November 1997 in Gueiyang
    Sponsored by WHO
    Training Course on SAPEL & LEC Workshop
    Lecturer: Li Huan-Ying

    Treatment Used/Researched:


    Publications in English

    "Leprosy Control in Shandong Province, China, 1955-1983; Some Epidemiological Features" IJL 53.1(1985): 79-85.

    "Short-term Multidrug Therapy in Multibacillary Leprosy-Review of 80 Cases in Two Provinces of China (1983-1988)" IJL 57.3 (1989): 622-627.

    "Problems of Leprosy Relapse in China" IJL 61.1(1993): :1-7.

    "Long-Term Effect of Leprosy Control in Two Prefectures of China, 1955-1993" IJL 63.2 (1995): 213-221.

    "Fixed Duration Multidrug Therapy in Multibacillary Leprosy" IJL 65.2 (1997): 230-237.

    "Risk of Relapse in Leprosy After Fixed Duration MDT" IJL 65.2 (1997): 238-245.

    "Relapses in Leprosy Patients Treated with Rifampicin Plus Dapsone After Varying Periods of Dapsone Monotherapy". Indian J. Lepr73.1 (2001):3-10.

    "Leprosy Control in A Prefecture of Yunnan Province in the Peoples'Republic of China, Using Intensive Health Education of the Public and Primary Health Care Workers for the Detection of Cases, 1998-1999" LR 73.1 (2002): :84-87.

    "Immuno-Histopathology in the Diagnosis of Early Leprosy" IJL 68.4 (2000): :426-433.

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