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August 23, 1965

Leprosy Control Methods

Author Affiliations

From the Christian and Missionary Alliance Mission, Khonkaen, Thailand. Dr. Buker is now on furlough in Boca Raton, Fla.

JAMA. 1965;193(8):643-645. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090080005001

The three methods used in the control of leprosy are the colony, the treatment clinic with survey and education, and the leprosy village, which is the least known. Colonies have failed because of expense and the refusal of many persons with leprosy to be isolated from normal life. Clinics are of value in reducing the number of cripples and patients with advanced stages of the disease. However, due to the expense of having adequately trained paramedical workers, and the inability to persuade more than 50% of the patients to take medication for more than five years, the clinics do not control leprosy. The leprosy village is the most economical, for the patients are self-supporting and are more willing to remain isolated. Once established, the village remains permanent. The study of villages of more than 20 years duration shows no contact cases except in children of patients who lived before the era of diaminodiphenylsulfone.