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a specialized medical facility engaged in the active detection, isolation, and treatment of leprosy; the clinical observation of persons who have come into contact with lepers; the outpatient treatment of discharged patients; and the organization of immunization to prevent the disease. In addition, it is an organizational and methods center for the control of leprosy.
Leprosariums are established in areas in which leprosy is endemic, usually in a rural setting. In the USSR, leprosariums are maintained at state expense; in capitalist countries they are generally organized by the national Red Cross and charitable institutions. In some countries, such as Brazil and India, lepers are not isolated but are treated on an outpatient basis, since available leprosariums are unable to accommodate everyone suffering from the disease.
A leprosarium consists of a hospital, an outpatient section, and an epidemiological section. Patients are assigned to living quarters and subsidiary farms where they can work in agriculture and a variety of crafts. Patients stay in the leprosarium from several months to several years, depending on the type and severity of the disease. The service personnel usually live at the leprosarium, but in areas clearly separated (for example, by a stand of trees) from the patients’ quarters.
R. S. BABAIANTS