A leprosarium was established on the Fijiian island of Makogai in 1911 to service the Pacific Islands. It was run by a French order of Nuns, the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary.
By 1918 there were over 300 patients. Numbers were augmented in 1925 by the transfer of the residents from a leprosy settlement on Quail Island, New Zealand.
There was strict segregation between living quarters of staff and patients. Patients were further grouped by nationality and gender.
Patients were responsible for constructing their own buildings and farming. The nuns provided nursing and facilities, including schooling, sports, postal and banking services, film screenings, and a photographic dark room.
Source: D McMenamin, "Recording the experiences of leprosy sufferers in Suva, Fiji", The Fiji Social Workers Journal, 1.1 (2005): 27-32.
Entry created 3 October, 2006.