TWGHs Records and Heritage Office

"Keeping up with the time - Mapping the Development of Hong Kong's Healthcare Services through the Archives": "Tuberculosis Prevention & Treatment"

Publication Date: 2023-02-14

Only available in Cantonese
Speaker: Dr. LAW Yuen Han (Lecturer, Department of History, Hong Kong Baptist University)

After the Second World War, Hong Kong was plagued by tuberculosis. It was not only a healthcare problem, but also a social issue in post-war Hong Kong. To effectively control the spread of tuberculosis, the Hong Kong government had to address social problems and issues about people's livelihood. Yet, as the government lacked administrative resources after the war, welfare organisations in the city were responsible for providing free treatment for those infected with tuberculosis. In addition, with the help of the World Health Organization and the United Nations, the Hong Kong government introduced the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine for the prevention of tuberculosis and successfully reduced infections among infants. As Hong Kong’s economy and living conditions improved, tuberculosis infections gradually decreased and the disease came under control. This talk will discuss tuberculosis prevention and treatment in Hong Kong after the war, and analyse how social and economic changes, along with discoveries in healthcare technology, affected the treatment of tuberculosis in the city.