International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy

    Descendants of the Wind

    2015, Malaysia

    Over two thousand leprosy patients were forcibly separated from their families. What was their fate after that? More than a thousand babies born in the Sungai Buloh settlement were sent away. Where did they go to? When these children grow up, will they be able to reunite with their birth parents, to compensate for the backward glance that was too late to be given?


    Lebih dua ribu pesakit kusta dipisahkan secara paksa dari keluarga mereka. Apakah nasib mereka selepas itu? Lebih seribu bayi yang lahir di penempatan Sungai Buloh diserahkan kepada pihak lain. Ke mana dan kepada siapa mereka diserahkan? Adakah anak-anak ini berpeluang bersatu kembali dengan keluarga asal mereka setelah dewasa, demi menebus masa silam yang mungkin sudah terlewat?


    • Producer: Sungai Buloh Oral History Team
    • Website:
    • Year of Production: 2015
    • Country: Malaysia
    • Subtitle: Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese, English
    • Duration: 1 hour 32 min


    “Leprosy was once called a “separating sickness”, which left many families torn apart. The separation of the newborns from the affected parents, devastating though it was, was not uncommon in many parts of the world when the disease was considered untreatable. Decades have passed since then and the parents have aged. Now is the last opportunity for the separated families to rebuild their torn down bonds and achieve the ultimate fulfilment of their lives. This documentary is part of a wider history of leprosy not only of Malaysia but of the world. It will be an asset for every member of global society to learn from.”

    Kay Yamaguchi
    Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation, Japan

    “This documentary is about the separated family members of ex-leprosy patients and their search for long-lost loved ones. The challenging lives of these former patients and their strength in overcoming them are very touching. I am confident that this documentary would foster understanding and appreciation, and form familial values, in addition to ensuring that the earlier generation who were affected by the disease would no longer be ignored nor shamed. Hopefully, the heartfelt voices of the families of ex-leprosy patients would be heard across the world!”

    Dr. Khalid Ibrahim
    Pengarah Hospital Sungai Buloh

    “Dokumentari ini mengisahkan pengalaman keluarga bekas pesakit kusta menjejak semula kasih yang lama terputus. Pengalaman hidup mereka yang penuh cabaran dan kekuatan amat menyentuh perasaan. Saya berkeyakinan bahawa ia akan memupuk pemahaman dan penghargaan dan membentuk nilai kekeluargaan bersama serta memastikan generasi awal yang terjejas akibat kusta tidak terabai mahupun terhina. Semoga suara hati keluarga bekas pesakit kusta didengar di seluruh pelusuk dunia! ”

    Dr. Khalid Ibrahim
    Pengarah Hospital Sungai Buloh

    The limitation of medication technologies and knowledge about leprosy has caused the leprosy patients to live under the shadows of long-term discrimination and forceful separation from their original family. Ean Nee and her team have helped them to restore their family ties. They have experienced the proverbial ups and downs in the root searching process and their noble spirit is very moving. This has enabled some separated families to finally experience the happiness family reunions.

    Tang Ah Chai
    Malaysian Cultural Heritage Worker