Dynamics of leprosy control and transformation of social identities a case of Ugogo in Dodoma, 1900-1960

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study addresses the changing colonial programmes of controlling leprosy from 1900 to 1960 and how it transformed the patients’ social identities. The objectives of the study were to explore the perceptions and local methods of controlling leprosy in Ugogo; to examine the activities done by colonialists to control leprosy and to find out the relation between control programmes and the identities of leprosy patients. The evidences for the study were obtained from colonial archival records, oral interviews, books, and electronic journals. The findings indicate that in pre-colonial times, leprosy was feared and leprosy patients were highly stigmatized that could not even be buried or inherited. Control of leprosy during this period included expelling leprosy patients to the forests. The beginning of colonialism initiated new control methods done in collaboration between missionaries, colonial state and voluntary organizations. The German colonial government, for instance, imposed compulsory segregation but failed to eradicate leprosy due to the absence of medication. After the First World War, the British colonial government adopted non-compulsory segregation and managed to introduce leprosy medications and out-patients clinics. By 1960 some patients had acquired new identities as cured patients, food producers, marriage partners and family members. The study further found that Missionaries used leprosy work as a means for converting Africans into Christianity while the colonial government wanted to protect the health of Europeans and African labour force. The conclusion of this study is that leprosy control programmes in pre-colonial and colonial periods did not succeed to eradicate leprosy completely and that negative perceptions against the disease and patients continued.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF RC154.8.A43)
Leprocy, Prevention, History, Ugogo, Dodoma
Alfani, H. (2015) Dynamics of leprosy control and transformation of social identities a case of Ugogo in Dodoma, 1900-1960, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam