Leprosy: The Long Journey to Overcome the World of ‘Its Most Stigmatised Disease’

Professor Elizabeth Mason-Whitehead, University of Chester

Link to Leprosy: The Long Journey to Overcome the World of ‘Its Most Stigmatised Disease’ event
Wednesday, 7th March, 2018
Room CRV101, Riverside Campus

The commonly held view of leprosy is that it is a highly contagious disease, now virtually eliminated. In fact, leprosy is only mildly infectious and there are approximately 200,000 new cases diagnosed globally each year. The history of leprosy reveals a disease steeped in myth and misunderstanding, where those people affected by the disease are frequently stigmatised, excluded from opportunities of education, work, marriage and children. People who show the early signs of leprosy often delay in seeking medical help because they fear being stigmatised by their families and becoming social outcasts.

The funding for a study aiming to understand the stigma of leprosy, was generously awarded through the Eddie and Maureen Askew Bursary of The Leprosy Mission, England and Wales.  The project involved visual methods and was undertaken in The Leprosy Mission Hospital, Naini, Uttar Pradesh, Northern India. The study not only revealed the impact of stigma on people’s lives but also the dedication and skill of those health care workers who care for people with leprosy in the hospital, villages and colonies. The Rt Revd Donald Allister, The Bishop of Peterborough has described leprosy as ‘the most stigmatised disease’ and so the long journey of understanding and education goes on.

Host: Faculty of Health and Social Historical Society

The University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care (FHSC) Historical Society aims to unite individuals with an interest in medicine, nursing, midwifery and social work across the University and the wider community. The Society meets regularly for a range of talks and discussion and anyone with an interest in health and social care or social history is welcome to attend.

Admission free but booking necessary.

Please contact Roger Whiteley (r.whiteley@chester.ac.uk, 01244 511619) to confirm your place.

There is no car parking available at the Riverside Campus (formerly County Hall) and access to the lecture rooms is through the main entrance, opposite the River Dee. The address is: University of Chester, Riverside Campus, Castle Drive, Chester CH1 1SL.

The Faculty of Health and Social Care Riverside Museum will also be open between 1pm and 4pm.

The Leprosy Mission logo