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Leprosy: A Short History

Posted on 18 February 2016

The Centre for Global Health Histories’ latest title 'Leprosy: A Short History' (by Orient BlackSwan) has been released.

Leprosy: A Short History presents critical perspectives on the disease, examining leprosy’s impact on society at different times, from the medieval period up to the present day, and from regional, national to local perspectives. The book provides intriguing and thought-provoking examples, which aims to inspire debate and further attention towards the disease and its significant role in the history of public health.

More information is available about the book, along with all of CGHH's other publications, on our website.

A global launch for this book was held in conjunction with the 97th WHO Global Health Histories Seminar, focusing on Leprosy, held at FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 6th May 2016. A news item about this event is available here

Leprosy: A Short History is available for download online here.


Foreword: Dr Margaret Chan (Director-General, World Health Organisation)
Introduction: Alexander Medcalf, Monica Saavedra, Magali Romero Sá, Sanjoy Bhattacharya
1) Yohei Sasakawa - Passing on the History of Leprosy to Future Generations
2) Patrick Zylberman - The “Visible Sin”: Leprosy in Medieval Europe
3) Sethina Watson - Responding to Leprosy in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries
4) Hiroki Nakatani - Leprosy as a Path-finder for New Global Health
5) Michio Miyasaka - Leprosy in the Western Pacific and Japan
6) John Manton - Leprosy in Africa
7) James Staples - Leprosy’s Journey in India
8) Euzenir Nunes Sarno, Mauricio Lisboa Nobre, Ximena Illarramendi - Revisiting the History of Leprosy in Brazil
9) Cassandra White - Leprosy and Migration: Treatment Challenges and Stigma
10) Monica Saavedra, Elizabeth Bara, Favita Dias - From Segregation to Elimination in a Locality: Leprosy in Goa, c. 1925-2015
11) Alexander Medcalf - Leprosy: Spreading the Elimination Message

This is the latest in a line of similarly-styled publications, (see also Health for All: The Journey to Universal Health Coverage, Tropical Diseases: Lessons from History, and Tuberculosis: A Short History).  

This project has been a collaboration between the following organisations: The WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories, FIOCRUZ, Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation and The Nippon Foundation. All at CGHH would like to express our gratitude to all of the authors involved in this project, the WHO Global Health Histories initiative and to the University of York’s Department of History, Orient BlackSwan, and the Wellcome Trust for their generous support of this project. We hope you enjoy the book.