The project is a multidisciplinary study of the history of Hansen’s disease in the region and consists of three parts: historical narratives of leprosy during the colonial period and the Second World War; treatment and management of the disease since independence; and folk perceptions and religious beliefs about leprosy.


The project aims to (i) examine and write the history of the disease in selected countries of the region and during selected periods, thereby offering bases of historical and thematic comparisons across Southeast Asia; (ii) address the gap in scholarship on Hansen’s disease in the region and more generally in the world from the perspective of the social sciences and humanities (e.g. history, social psychology, geography, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, architecture, literature); and (iii) contribute to the global understanding of the disease by raising awareness of its many aspects and its social impact.

Participants, Affiliation, Title of Paper:

  1. Pham Van Thuy, Vietnam National University Hanoi, Leprosy Management under the French Colonial Regime in Indochina
  2. Lim Yong Long, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, The Historiography of Leprosy Segregation Policies in British Malaya, 1867-1936
  3. Por Heong Hong, University of Malaya, Re-picturing Disease, Tropical Medicine and Colonial Benevolence: The Visualization of Leprosy, Treatment and Leprosarium in British Malaya
  4. Ma. Mercedes Planta, University of the Philippines, Victor Heiser and the Evolution of American Policy on Leprosy in the Philippines
  5. Ricardo T. Jose, University of the Philippines, Hansen’s Disease in a Time of War, 1942-1945
  6. Noraini Binti Mohamed Hassan, University of Malaya, The Fight Against Leprosy in Myanmar
  7. Lin Htet, Yangon General Hospital, Malaysian Government Policies, 1966-2000
  8. Rina Kurniasri Kusumaratna, Trisakti University, Continuum Care of Morbus Hansen in Indonesia
  9. Ma. Florina Orillos-Juan, De La Salle University, Religious Perceptions of Leprosy in Colonial Philippines
  10. Hoirun Nisa, State Islamic University, Folklore and Islamic Influences in Indonesian Beliefs about Leprosy
  11. Luechai Sringernyuang, Mahiidol University Salaya, Social Memories of Former Thai Leprosy Patients
  12. Kanya Wattanagun, Chulalongkorn University, Vernacular Perceptions of Leprosy in Contemporary Thailand