The Control of Leprosy

The Charles Franklin Craig Lecture of the American Society of Tropical Medicine

View More View Less
  • London, England

I have used the word “control” for I feel that it embodies the most important immediate objective that should be aimed at, and I wish to emphasize this fact. I might have spoken of leprosy relief. That is important. To bring mental and physical relief to the 5 or 6 million lepers at present in the world is a very high ideal. To found and maintain institutions where the maimed and ostracised leper will find shelter and medical care has for long been rightly considered one of the finest and most heroic forms of service that can be undertaken; but its value from the public health point of view is limited. It relieves the sufferes but does not control the disease.

I might have spoken of the eradication of leprosy. That is a result to be achieved in time; but the word savours of ruthlessness—compulsion—strictly enforced segregation laws. These, however, are not likely to succeed.