Friday, November 7, 2008

Leprosy on Robben Island

Attention has been drawn lately to the condition of the lepers on Robben Island.
Dr Forsyth writes to the Press, stating that the patients express themselves dissatisfied with the Leprosy Commission, which visits the island occasionally.
There can be no doubt, says Dr Forsyth, that it is the practice of the Colonial Office that "once a leper, always a leper," and it is left to the patient to prove that he is no longer leprous.
Further, he remarks that there is no honest healthy labour to engage the time of these unfortunates, and it is no wonder that a certain number of the lepers become insane each year.
He draws attention to the large number of deaths from consumption, and to remarks in the Senior Medical Officer's report as to the insanitary condition of the settlement.

Eastern Province Herald - November 5, 1908

One hundred years ago it was leprosy. Now it's TB in its various forms. Insanitary conditions way back then, still like that today. Just goes to show things don't change.

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