SASAKAWA MEMORIAL HEALTH FOUNDATION
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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

FROM THE EDITORS: HISTORICAL USAGE

Congratulations to the island of Culion on receiving a historical marker that bears witness to its important history as the “Culion Leper Colony.” “Leper,” of course, is a word that we have spoken out against many times in these pages as a no-longer-acceptable way to describe a person with the disease of leprosy.

There was a time — as when the leprosy colony on Culion was established in 1904 — that this word was commonly used. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines, which has used the term in a historical context on the marker, is careful to note on its website that this usage is no longer recommended today. It remains to be seen how many people who look upon the marker will appreciate the distinction.