Leprosy and leper colony Words are rare in today's language. However, when consulting the national bibliography of a distant past, not very distant, even recently, they appear with surprising frequency.
Leprosy disease was also designated as Elefancia or Lazarus, one of several other denominations, reached the United States for European emigration and reproduced them a universe of moral and religious meanings and institutions and social management practices forged in the old continent.
In the early sixteenth century the disease had a place in the concerns of colonial administrators, who laid their foundations for their regulation through the establishment of hospitals in San Lazaro, institutions where the sick were separated and cared for.
With the establishment of the New Granada came the notion of quarantine station, sometimes leper colony, as an institution for the management of leprosy. By Act 16 of 5 August 1833 provided for the establishment of three quarantine stations in the provinces of the First, Second and Third districts, corresponding to the territories of East Central and South West and North of the New Republic, and was determined reserve part of the income intended for their support for investment in a leper and in Panama.
Pursuant to that provision decrees were issued February 21 and 21 December 1835. By the first of them, the old hospital or quarantine station was located in Caño Loro assimilated the third district.
In the second, provided for the establishment of a quarantine station in the First District Recruitment site, determining the transfer of a concentration of patients previously recognized in the site of El Curo, but ignore the date on which that provision became effective.
This Lazareto located in what is now the Municipality of Procurement worked with state resources and public benefit in order to ensure a separate and isolated patients food, clothing, housing and medical care, religious and reserved moral.El management of leprosy was determined by medical disputes about those notions associated with the pathological condition, such as organic seat site, nature, causes, etiology, definition, symptomatology, nosology, cure or treatment.
The performance of such ecclesiastical institutions was another aspect of the social management of leprosy. In this sense, it highlights the activities conducted by the Catholic mission of the Salesian Fathers, from Torino (Italy) and who settled in the country in 1890. Promoted national campaigns for the collection of funds exalting always need to assume the protection of patients segregated as a matter of Christian love. With these funds and state grants administered, founded churches, homes, schools, theaters, libraries and other works into the quarantine station. The State delegated to them for assistance, education, moral leadership, cultural and religious diversity of the resident population.
From the five years of General Rafael Reyes in the early twentieth century and the creation of the Central Bureau of Lazzaretti, there was an increase in legislation to establish strict isolation measures for the control of leprosy. Since that time, she had expressed the concern of the State "prevent the spread of the disease, a concern that was based on the assumption of its contagious nature and its definition as a" public nuisance "and an obstacle to progress and for the project of modernization. These measures resulted in the improvement of the surveillance infrastructure (sanitary cordons and checkpoints) in the prevention of infection and disinfection (hospitals, laboratories, health technology, a special coin minted internal circulation in the leper colony), in self-administration (administration offices, mail, registration, notarial and court, directly under the National Government) and the effective restriction of the coexistence of healthy and sick (homes for healthy and sick children, among others). Also improved facilities seeking to give it lazaretto aqueduct, rooms for patients, doctors and administrative staff, asylum, school, hospital, marketplace and land for agricultural activities, among other works.
In many cases the improvement in living conditions in the leper colony and care practices generated expressions of acceptance or complacency on the part of patients. But in general isolationist policies clashed with social practices of resistance directly or buried by the population living in the leper colony. Therefore, the regulatory provisions could never fully met and some failed to be actually implemented. The State made significant efforts and invested considerable financial resources until 1961, when he ordered the dissolution of the leper. It never achieved its objective of medicalization, control and eradicate leprosy by isolation. However, preventive measures were gaining ground in epidemiological and therapeutic management of disease.
By the late 1920s the "leprosy campaign" became a matter of public health and welfare. Since 1930, a policy of modernization and economic rationality, we attempted to reduce the high cost of maintenance of quarantine stations, promoting the output of those patients are not contagious or "social cured" to be treated in regional dermatological clinics.
During the last two decades of the leper colony, the introduction of an effective drug to inactivate the leprosy bacillus found sulfone-based policy focused disease control in the administration of chemotherapeutic treatment, monitoring of social and cured the search for new infectious cases. However, it was not until the year 1961 when the patients returned to full enjoyment of their rights and civil liberties, was abolished in the leper isolation and removed the nursing homes or separation preventoria children healthy children of leprosy patients . After this collapse CONTRATACION population was limited to municipal order and there are shelters and established what is now the SANATORIO DE CONTRATACION E.S.E., as a specialized in the care of the disease.