International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Zanzibar National Archives


    Category Institutional Archive
    Country Tanzania
    Address Zanzibar National Archives, Kilimani, Zanzibar, Tanzania


    The Zanzibar National Archives hold a number of documents relating to leprosy, which are listed below:

    AJ11/2 – Leprosy Decree, rules, directions
    The file includes documents relating to publication and distribution of the Leprosy Decress of 1929. Memoranda concerning failure to report cases of leprosy, use of Public Health Decree applied to leprosy; memo by W L Webb, DMS, on the history of leprosy settlements on Zanzibar and Pemba (three pages); extract from minutes of BELRA meeting (1936); notice of International Leprosy Congress, Havana, 1948; provisional notice of new drug – Hydrochaulmoogreol; memoranda suggesting repeal of Leprosy Decree.

    AJ11/7 – Leper survey of the Protectorate – organisation, policy
    Memoranda regarding future anti-leprosy policy and appointment of a leprosy specialist; correspondence with Dr T B Welch regarding his position as specialist on Pemba; correspondence regarding proposed leprosy survey of Pemba and Zanzibar; memoranda relating interruptions in survey work and decision to discontinue services of T B Welch; correspondence regarding dismissal of Dr Welch and circumstances regarding lack of progress on survey.

    AJ11/11 – Leper Settlement Funzi – salaries, allowances, funds for lepers
    Memoranda regarding balance of funds, expenditures, budgets; building requirements; rations; statement of maintenance and treatment of lepers – 1929-1933.

    AJ11/12 – Leper Settlement Funzi – Epidemic
    File includes: report on leprosy in Zanzibar, Dr Cochrane, BELRA (undated, nine pages); report on individuals – recent illnesses and deaths among lepers in Funzi Settlement (1931); memoranda regarding deaths and ruling out of cerebro-spinal meningitis; memorandum regarding diagnosis of tetanus.

    AJ17/15 – Repatriation of paupers, lepers, patients etc to mainland from hospitals or Walezo (1943-53)
    A few documents regarding the transfer of leprosy patients, or repatriation to country of origin.

    AJ11/14 – Leper Settlement Funzi, Reports, elements of treatment of leprosy
    Medical officers report on leper settlements and comments on report; notes regarding proposed tour by official from BELRA and itinerary; report on leprosy in Zanzibar by Dr Cochrane, BELRA; annual report on the Funzi Island Leper Asylum, 1930; report – ‘Some Elements of Leprosy’ by T B Welch, 1933, and comments on report; correspondence regarding cultivation by inmates of Funzi; annual report on the Funzi Leper Asylum, 1934.

    AJ11/16 – Leper Settlement Funzi, Miscellaneous
    Memoranda regarding transportation of lepers aboard ships; memorandum regarding anti-syphilitic treatment; memoranda regarding provision of fishing canoes; suggestions for Governor’s conference on the question of leprosy in the East African territories; memoranda regarding the posting of a leprosy specialist in Zanzibar; memorandum – “Suggested scheme for using the services of unqualified men in leprosy work”; memoranda regarding threats made against two European women on staff; comments on Swahili pamphlet on leprosy; list of Zanzibar lepers.

    AJ11/18 – Leper Settlement Funzi – Proposal to close and establish (1934-36)
    Memorandum on Funzi Leper Asylum by Dr Quin (eight pages); ‘Proposal to close Funzi Leper Settlement’ (1934); maintenance estimates for Funzi; correspondence regarding decision to close Funzi; memoranda regarding acquisition of land at Walezo for new settlement; ‘Proposal to Accommodate Lepers Both in Zanzibar and Pemba’; memoranda regarding proposed land on Pemba for leper settlement; Note on the Colonial Office Despatch on Leprosy Work in Zanzibar; memoranda relating to lifting of restriction on inhabiting Funzi.

    AJ11/19 – Leper Settlement Funzi – Scale of rations for lepers (1929-42)
    Memoranda regarding rations, clothing, shoes, government allowances and other articles issued to patients; list of Makondeni lepers’ weights; comparative statement of weights of Makondeni lepers; memoranda concerning diet of patients at Makondeni; comparative figures of expenditure for Makondeni and Walezo.

    AJ11/31 – Leper settlement, establishment of
    Comparative table for Leprosy Decree, 1926 and Public Health Decree, 1931; building sketches; memoranda regarding female nursing staff; memoranda on inspection of sites on Pemba; memorandum, ‘UMCA Nurses of the Funzi Leper Settlement’; arrangements for establishment of settlement at Makondeni; memorandum relating to purchase of building materials; memoranda regarding closure and evacuation of Funzi; notes on building of hospital and dispensary; memorandum – ‘Allowance to UMCA for Services of ½ Nurses at Leper Settlement’; memorandum regarding expenditures; appeal for public contributions; memoranda regarding supplies.

    AJ11/47 Vol I – Leper Settlement Walezo
    Allocation of funds for new settlement at Walezo; purchase of supplies; cementing of floors in accommodation; report ‘Leper Institutions of the Zanzibar Protectorate’.

    AJ11/47 – Walezo Hospital. Leprosy
    Notes on admission of patients; statistics for Walezo Poor House; memoranda regarding police interaction with lepers; memoranda regarding repairs; notes on requests for repatriation of lepers.

    AJ11/47 Vol II, Leper Settlement Walezo
    Complaints about police refusing to give assistance at Walezo; request to Nyasaland for information regarding leprosy work; report – leper institutions of the Zanzibar Protectorate; police statement regarding raid on leper asylum for native liquor; requests for various repairs to settlement; list of lepers and their home villages; memorandum on leprosy (facts); memoranda regarding differences between Makondeni and Walezo settlements; memorandum – Treatment of Leprosy with Sulphetrone; reprints – ‘Mission to Lepers’ from South African Weekly (1947); numerous memos regarding numbers of patients (leprosy, TB or paupers); transfer notes for lunatic and criminal lepers; leaflet – ‘Leprosy Curable and Preventible’ from Oji River Leprosy Settlement in Nigeria (1954).

    AJ11/59 – Treatment of leprosy (1954- )
    Reprint – ‘Progress Towards the Eradication of Leprosy from the British Commonwealth’, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts (12 November 1954); report by E Muir – ‘Zanzibar and Pemba’, memoranda regarding visit to Zanzibar of Dr Ross Innes; classification of leprosy at Walezo, Zanzibar; requests for drugs and supplies; memoranda on treatment with DADPS; memorandum – ‘The Use of Mother Sulphone in the Treatment of Tuberculosis’, numerous memoranda regarding treatment with drugs; memoranda regarding survey of leprosy incidence in East Africa; leprosy and tuberculosis surveys; report on tour to inspect the leprosy work of East Africa; list of persons with leprosy; report on recent leprosy in Zanzibar and Pemba; minutes of BELRA mertings; memoranda relating to Leprosy Control Scheme; report on laboratory, pharmacological and early clinical studies of Nydrazid; reports on costs per patient; memoranda of rehabilitation of lepers; BELRA report – ‘A Tour of East and Central Africa’, East African Leprosy Research Centre Annual Report, 1954-55; report on leprosy in Nyasaland, list of suspected lepers; report on the control of leprosy in the Belgian Congo and Rvanda-Urundi; leprosy control in East Africa – J A Kinnear-Brown; leprosy research in Nigeria – T F Davey

    AJ11/60 – Leprosy Survey – Itinerary of Tour of Dr Ross Innes (1951- )
    Summary of leprosy reports by Dr Ross Innes; tour itineraries; logistics for leprosy survey; information office handout on leprosy; Ross Innes report on leprosy survey.

    AJ11/9 – Leper Settlement Funzi – Grants to UMCA for the care of lepers
    Memos relating to maintenance of European staff on Funzi Island; application for grant to support two nursing sisters.

    AB86/90 – Dr T B Welch – Leprosy Officer
    Arrangements for new leprosy specialist for Zanzibar; records/vital statistics regarding Dr Welch; letters regarding termination of employment for Dr Welch and return to England.

    AJ15/202 – Leprosy Conference in Africa
    Memoranda regarding WHO conference in Brazzaville, 1959; conference programme; questionnaire – statistical data and information required for leprosy conference in Africa; press release (WHO) on conference on leprosy control in Africa; report on the conference, May 1959 (thirty-nine pages); WHO document – Leprosy Advisory Team; WHO questionnaires on leprosy prevalence and on institutions for in-patients.

    AJ15/203 – Makondeni Leper Colony (1963-1977)
    Memoranda regarding transfer of patients to Walezo Leper Settlement to use Makondeni buildings for a prison camp; estimates of recurrent costs, value of crops, cattle and other possessions of patients; letter from Makondeni patients requesting that another camp be opened in order to remain on Pemba; correspondence regarding decision not to close Makondeni; lsit of labourers at Makondeni; list of payments made to Makondeni leper labourers; numerous documents in Kiswahili regarding “Wagonjwa Wa Makondeni”; most documents from mid-60s to 1970s are in Kiswahili.

    AJ15/201 – Leprosy Advisory Team – Aims and Functions, Guide to Leprosy Control (1959-77)
    WHO memorandum – Leprosy Advisory Team – Aims and Functions (nine pages); memoranda in Kiswahili, regarding “Kuhusu Ugonjwa wa Ukoma”; WHO report – A Guide to Leprosy Control (seventy-four pages with annex and references).

    AJ15/200 – Seventh International Congress of Leprology (1958-59)
    Announcement of Leprosy Congress, New Delhi, 1958; notice regarding withdrawal of invitation to hold Congress in India due to lack of response; report of the conference on leprosy in Africa, Brazzaville, 1959.

    AJ15/199 – East African Leprosy Research
    East African Research Centre Annual Report, July 1965 – December 1966; report on history and work of East African Leprosy Research Centre (ten pages); East African Leprosy Research Centre Annual Report 1968.

    AJ27/621 – Dr T B Welch, Specialist Leprosy Officer (1931-35)
    Memoranda regarding costs to government for leprosy work; request for two year post for a leprosy specialist; memos regarding administration, supplies, transport.

    AJ28/46 – Health Dept: Lepers – Settlement, Walezo, Makondeni (1941-56)
    Memoranda and notices regarding patient deaths, admissions; sanitary conditions; hospital and dispensary buildings and maintenance, latrines etc; memoranda regarding individual transfers or admissions; memoranda relating to admissions of patients discharged from mental hospital; extract from Tropical Disease Bulletin – ‘Recent Advances in the Pathology and Treatment of Leprosy, with special reference to their importance in the disease’, handwritten letter from patients requesting a football and radio and blackboard; memoranda regarding amenities for patients; estimates and budget for Walezo; report on tuberculosis patients at Walezo; applications for admission to Walezo.

    AB2/333 – Leprosy Decree, No 13 of 1926, No 1 of 1937
    Marked-up draft of Leprosy Decree; handwritten minutes regarding administration of leper settlements and comments on decrees from other territories; handwritten draft of Decree; Certificate of Authentication for Leprosy Decree No 13 of 1926; and copy of Decree; comparative table for Zanzibar Decree and ordinances from other colonies; memoranda regarding repeal of Leprosy Decree of 1926 (1936 memo); comparative table for Leprocy Decree, 1926 and Public Health Decree, 1931; Brief report by Director of Medical Services on the history and purpose of the Leprosy Decree (three pages); extracts from minutes of meeting of the Medical Subcommittee of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association (1936); formal notice to repeal Leprosy Decree (No 1 of 1937).

    AB2/334 – Rules under the Leprosy Decree, 1926
    The Leprosy Decree, 1926 – rules; notice declaring Funzi Island to be a leper asylum; directions issued by the Director of Medical and Sanitary Services under the authority of the Leprosy Decree, 1926; notices of minor amendments to Leprosy Decree.

    AB2/335 – BELRA: Treatment of Leprosy: Report of Mr Oldrieve on leprosy work in the Zanzibar Protectorate
    Reports from other colonies’ leprosy work, including Fiji (successful use of chaulmoogra oil); numerous memoranda regarding early use of chaulmoogra oil; reports from Baghdad relating to use of antimony as treatment; treatment of bilharzias; BELRA pamphlet – ‘To Stamp Out Leprosy in the British Empire – A Great Campaign’ (Appeal); memorandum regarding the medical policy of BELRA; numerous case notes for individual patients (typed) – includes physical condition and notes from medical officer’s visit; BELRA memorandum on prevalence and prophylaxis against leprosy, based on replies to the questionnaire of BELRA; with suggestions for dealing with the problem (twenty-nine pages); memoranda and itinerary regarding tour of Mr Oldrieve; report on Oldrieve’s visit to Malta; BELRA Annual Report 1925; memorandum on leprosy work in the Zanzibar Protectorate; comments on Oldrieve’s report; report on meeting of Medical Subcommittee with medical officers of the Colonial Service (BELRA) 1927; BELRA published report ‘A Problem of Empire Suffering’ (Annual Report for 1927); report on leprosy in Zanzibar by Robert Cochrane (ten pages); comments on Cochrane report; reprint articles: ‘Two Years’ Experience of Sodium Gynocardate and Chaulmoograte subcutaneously and intravenously in the treatment of leprosy’, Indian Journal of Medical Research, Vol I, No 2, Oct 1917, Leonard Rogers; ‘Further Experience of Sodium Hydnocarpate (Sodium Gynocardate A) and a Trial of Sodium Morrhuate in Leprosy’, Leonard Rogers; Indian Medical Gazette, Vol LIV (No 5) May 1919; General notes on Gynocardate of Sodium; ‘Sodium Morrhuate in Tuberculosis and Leprosy’, notes by Sir Leonard Rogers; BELRA Annual Report, 1936 – ‘Leprosy – A Problem of Colonial Development’, Leprosy Review, Vol VII, No 4, October 1936.

    AB2/336 – Appointment of a Leprosy Officer (1931-1941)
    Memoranda regarding appointment of a special medical officer for Funzi Settlement; relating to costs for settlement at Funzi; on selection of Dr T B Welch as Zanzibar Leprosy Specialist; notes regarding logistics, funds etc, relative to appointment of Leprosy Specialist; handwritten letters about various aspects of leprosy work by T B Welch; comments on Dr Welch’s views, reports and recommendations; statement of maintenance and treatment of lepers – Funzi; memoranda regarding Leper Survey of Pemba; memoranding regarding termination of employment of T B Welch.

    AB2/337 – Leper Settlement on Funzi Island, Pemba (1927-36)
    Notes regarding housing and sanitary conditions; building requirements; provision of a police Askari; consideration of a wages fund for patients; building repairs; financial statement for maintenance and treatment; reports on general state of affairs at Funzi and welfare of patients; proposal to close Funzi settlement.

    AB2/338 – Leper Settlement Pemba (1934-55)
    Proposal to close Funzi Leper Settlement; comments on the policy of segregation of leprosy cases; proposal regarding the need for one leper settlement on Pemba and one on Zanzibar; correspondence regarding acquisition of land; correspondence relating to centralisation of medical department in Pemba; proposed leper settlement near Wete, Pemba; inspection of potential sites; report on Finance Committee meeting; protest of Clove Growers Association over nearby leper settlement; notes regarding housing conditions; financial estimates; comparison of conditions at Makondeni and Walezo settlements; description of general administration of Makondeni settlement; roster of patients at Makondeni with brief remarks and statistics.

    AB2/339 – Leper Settlement at Walezo (1934-53)
    Proposal to close Funzi Leper Island and open settlements on Zanzibar and Pemba; notes on policy of segregation; letters from patients requesting not to be repatriated to their former homes; correspondence regarding a policy of voluntary repatriation; proposal to accommodate lepers both in Zanzibar and Pemba; memorandum on maintenance of lepers at Walezo Settlement; notes regarding procedure for accepting indigents to Walezo; memoranda relating to water supply to Walezo; correspondence regarding procedure for burials at Walezo; correspondence on rehabilitation of discharged lepers; hand-drawn plan of land for Walezo Settlement.

    AB2/340 – Resettlement of Discharges Lepers (1956- )
    Thin file with brief correspondence on resettlement and rehabilitation of discharged lepers.

    AB2/341 – Segregation of lepers (1896-1931)
    Early handwritten correspondence regarding need for stringent segregation (1896); early reports on leper settlements in Pemba (1904-1908); correspondence regarding nursing/medical requirements for settlements on Pemba; medical report for the island of Pemba, 1908 (includes discussion of Funzi Island as a proposed settlement); Bill – An Ordinance to make Provision for the Isolation and Detention of Persons Affected with Leprosy (The Leprosy Ordinance, 1913); correspondence regarding proposed settlement at Walezo; report of visit to Mkoani site, Pemba; correspondence relating to local communities demanding the removal of lepers from the village (1911); notes regarding identification of cases in the villages and list of names; correspondence on suitable punishment for troublesome or criminal lepers; correspondence regarding absconding from settlements; request for census of lepers; census of lepers – Chwaka District, 1913; building requirements for proposed settlement; agreement between Sultan of Zanzibar and Catholic Mission regarding the case of lepers; correspondence regarding Funzi Island as proposed settlement; correspondence relating to government payments to leper asylum.

    AB2/342 – Maintenance of the poor by the Roman Catholic Mission at Walezo (1918-1947)
    Notes regarding method of dealing with paupers as opposed to lepers. This files deals with the maintenance of paupers, not leprosy cases, but may be of interest as an overview of the Walezo Mission as it administered a poor house, leprosarium and tuberculosis hospital.

    AB2/343 – Maintenance of the poor by the Roman Catholic Mission at Walezo, Vol II
    File as above, covers years 1949-1956. Includes information on Walezo staff, mission arrangements with government; grants for maintenance.

    AB2/344 – Case of lepers on Funzi Island by UMCA (1923-1936)
    Proposal for helping the lepers at Funzi Island (1923); notes regarding an engineer’s inspection of Funzi; notes relating to a volunteer missionary woman; correspondence on BELRA campaign; proposal to build a European bungalow on Funzi Island; blueprint for House for Lady Superintendent – Funzi Island; building/improvement needs for Funzi; report by Elsie Bartlett of conditions on Funzi Island; report of an assault on M Bartlett by one “lunatic leper”; minutes of Health Office meeting to discuss Funzi settlement (1928); removal of troublesome lepers; BELRA proposal to employ laymen in leprosy work; notes regarding the maintenance of nursing sisters.

    AB2/345 – Leprosy (1925-1954)
    Despatch regarding “Tao Foong Chee” treatment (chaulmoogra) from Malay States; suggestions to agricultural departments to plant trees for the cultivation of chaulmoogra; Extract from Annual Report on Working Plans and Silviculture for the year 1926-27; logistics regarding procurement of seeds, plants; extracts from Mr Oldrieve’s report on leprosy in Zanzibar; correspondence relating to treatment with Alepol; transcript of speech by Secretary of State at concert given in aid of BELRA; government circular regarding appointment of a Leprosy Specialist to the East African Governments; copy of Tropical Diseases Bulletin (Vol 36, No 11, 1939), with summary of recent abstracts on leprosy.

    AB2/346 – General Policy Regarding Lepers (1934-37)
    Proposal to close Funzi settlement; report on Funzi by Medical Officer, Wete, Pemba; correspondence regarding the abolition of compulsory segregation; proposal to accommodate lepers in both Zanzibar and Pemba; correspondence regarding the termination of employment of Dr T B Welch; measures proposed for a leprosy survey; BELRA pamphlet – ‘Leprosy Control – A Manual for Teachers, Children and Parents’, E Muir, 1937.

    AB2/347 – Leprosy Research – Visit by Dr E Muir (1937-39)
    Correspondence regarding visit of E Muir to the East African Dependencies; report on leprosy in Zanzibar – E Muir (six pages).

    AB2/348 – Leprosy Campaign (1951-56)
    Correspondence regarding East African Leprosy Survey; Zanzibar as a proposed site for a BELRA leprosy eradication campaign; summary of report on leprosy in Zanzibar; memorandum regarding leprosy survey at Tumbatu Island; report on leprosy survey of Zanzibar and Pemba (five pages); note to the General Secretary with reference to Dr Ross Innes’ Recommendations for Zanzibar (by R G Cochrane); press communique regarding the eradication of leprosy correspondence relating to funds for an East African Leprosy Research Centre; Annual Report, 1954 – East African Research Centre.

    AB2/417 – General Reports on Ulcers and Leprosy Diseases in Zanzibar (1935-1953)
    raw data compiled from Leprosy Survey of Zanzibar (1934) by T B Welch; paper regarding the 1933 ulcer epidemic (nineteen pages) plus appendix of charts and graphs; chart showing origin of patients by district; numerous charts, graphs and statistics primarily concerned with ulcer cases; hand drawn maps designating incidence of leprosy, TB, yaws and other diseases; chart describing ‘Typical Diets in Vogue in Pemba’, correspondence with Champion Russeell regarding native health.

    Also see: BF Series; Official Publications – East Africa BF27 – Annual Reports, Leprosy Research Centres.

    Entry made 4 March 2003


    Name Hamad Omar
    Organization Zanzibar National Archives
    Address Zanzibar National Archives, PO Box 116, Kilimani, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
    Telephone +255 30342, 230342 & 235241
    Fax +255 235241 & 233722

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