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March 19, 1938

Leprosy: A Problem of Colonial Development

JAMA. 1938;110(12):925. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790120067035

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Founded in 1924, this association works in British colonies, protectorates and dependencies of the empire, within which it is estimated that there are 2,000,000 lepers. The incidence varies from 1 per cent in Nigeria to 30 per cent in Nauru (in 1924) and surveys seem invariably to reveal unexpectedly higher incidences. There are 100 cases in England, mostly acquired abroad, and the disease is not even notifiable there. The aims of the association are mainly educational, using special medical directors to establish centers for segregation of victims in countries of low economic and sanitary standards. All too often these refuges have been filled with old cases, no longer infectious. The association seeks by education and local organization to segregate the earlier and more infectious stages from the community and especially from young children and thus to reduce the incidence. Tribal and clan cooperation together with local support and some degree

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