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THE CULION ISLAND LEPER COLONY Where the United States has built, on a hitherto practically uninhabited island 200 miles southwest of Manila, a town for 3,500 lepers of the Philippines.
Here the first successful effort has been made to arrest, if not actually to cure, leprosy disease to accompany him to Culion. It was hoped, by using methods of persuasion rather than of force. that much more rapid progress could be made in the segregation of the unfortunates. Furthermore it was hoped, after the lepers arrived at Culion and found that they were provided with good food and living quarters and an ample supply of clothing, all without cost to them, that they would
write home and enTHE CULION LEPER COLONY AT CLOSE RANGE
courage other unfortuThe town on Culion Island, about two hundred miles from Manila, was built nates to come. This under the greatest difficulties. Workmen and materials had to be transported proved to be the from Manila, and some of the machinery had to be brought from the United case. Briefly the States and Europe
great majority of the cation in order that the masses might learn lepers in the Philippine Islands were transthe dangers of leprosy. They were also ferred to the Island of Culion without the to inform their people that, by modern use of force. When it is remembered methods, there was reasonable hope that that this frequently involved separating the number of new cases could be greatly husband from wife, mother from child, reduced and that by special care the course brother from sister, friend from friend, of the disease might be greatly modified and even steps taken toward a cure. A few months later a Filipino medical officer, who could speak the dialect, would call at the province and give public lectures on leprosy and often, with the aid of lantern slides, would show views of the leper colony which was then under construction. As soon as the colony was ready to receive lepers the present writer would go to such provinces with a steamer and
THE STORE, KITCHEN, AND TENEMENTS invite those who were afflicted with the
The colony is a complete community in itself, embodying all the conveniences
of an up-to-date town
and, furthermore, that family ties among Filipinos are very strong, it will be appreciated what great forbearance the Filipino public showed in not opposing this public health measure and what it meant when they assisted to carry it into effect. In all more than 8,000 lepers were transferred to Culion and, so far as known, every person in the Philippine Islands who is afflicted with the disease has now been segregated. The present
THE LEPERS' THEATRE AND APPROACH status of the problem The town has been completely equipped in every way to make it attractive. is in striking con- However, the lepers take very little interest in the esthetic element of life, with trast with that of 1906, not met with complete success
the result that the efforts of the authorities to beautify the colony have so far when lepers were encountered almost everywhere without gratifying results of the segregation of the any restrictions. In a number of in-' lepers was the discovery of persons who were stances they worked in cheese factories, suffering from other diseases who had been as salesmen in grocery stores, as coachmen, classed as lepers and had been compelled school teachers, clerks, in tobacco factories, to live with them. It often happened that and at other similar pursuits. One of the these persons suffered from maladies that
could be readily cured, and in such cases they were taken to Manila or other places for treatment and upon their recovery they were restored to their homes and friends.
The present colony numbers about 3,500 lepers. They live in more than 400 nipa palm houses, each of which is large enough to accommodate from five to seven lepers. In addition there are reinforced concrete houses which are di
vided into six apartSANITARY TENEMENT HOUSES FOR THE LEPERS Built of reinforced concrete, these houses are divided into six apartments, each
ments, each of which of which holds twelve persons
is suitable for twelve
adapted for housing persons afflicted with this disease; the ventiplation is of particular importance because the disease gives rise to very unpleasant odors. In front of each house is a small flower garden andevery effort is being made to insti: sufficient civic pride in the lepers to maintair. them; but so far these efforts have not me! with much success.
The lepers are given all possible, liberty. and to a large extent are controlled by regulations which they themselves make They are allowed to punish offenders against their own regulations. They are
privileged to elect THE SPANISH AND AMERICAN CHAPLAINS OF THE COLONY their own mayor and
councilmen. A police persons. These houses are built with force composed entirely of lepers has been ventilated tile roofs and are especially organized, and it is its duty to see that the town is kept in good sanitary condition as well as to make arrests of offenders against their own ordinances. Each councilman is responsible for the proper housing, good order, and adjustment of complaints of the people in the section of the town which he represents.
The question of the lepers' contributing something toward their own support has received most careful attention, but on closer consideration it has been found that not much assistance in this direction can be expected. The disease soon produces contractions of the limbs, destruction of tissue, losses of fingers THE SISTERS OF ST. PAUL DE CHARTRES, WHO NURSE THE LEPERS and toes, nervous involvements which result in loss of mus- a small proportion of them are capable of cular power, and general debility. Only performing sufficient manual labor neces
THE INTERIOR OF THE HOSPITAL AT CULION Before the United States established this leper colony, about 1,000 persons a year contracted the disease in
the Philippine Islands. To-day the islands are practically clear of leprosy