Can you guess what this is?


A bench? A pedestal? This clunky piece of furniture is a kind of medical lazy Susan — a rotating examination table from the leprosy colony on the island of Culion in the Philippines. Children born and raised within the colony, which opened in 1906, were regularly placed on this table and examined from almost every angle for suspicious lesions and numb patches of skin that might indicate an active leprosy infection. This exam was known as a “reconoser,” according to Dr. Arturo C. Cunanan, who waxes rather nostalgically about the routine in a recent Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation/World Health Organization newsletter.

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