Manaus, Brazil: Leprosy
Colonia Antonio Alexio in Manaus, Brazil is a leprosy colony that was established in 1942 on the outskirts of Manaus, Brazil. Many older patients were interned here as children when there was no treatment for the disease and the Brazilian governent mandated confinement. They were not allowed to leave the leprosarium until the government lifted isolation restrictions in the late 1960s. Many moved into houses in the area around the leprosarium and return regularly to the hospital for treatment. Others remain pemanently.
Brazil is second, after India, for the total number of cases of leprosy in the world. The Amazonian region is particularly hard hit. It is difficult to pinpoint why Brazil still struggles with containing this treatable disease. It is known that poor living conditions in which large families usually share a relatively small space, are ideal for the transmission of leprosy. And, the
Amazonian region is one of the poorest in Brazil.