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Photographer: Claudia Wiens
Title: Leprosy Colony Abu Zaabal in Egypt
Location: Egypt

The leprosy colony Abu Zaabal in Egypt, 40km north of Cairo, was built in 1933 encompassing a hospital and agricultural land in order to be self-sustainable. The bacterium responsible for leprosy was discovered in 1873 by the Norwegian Dr Armauer Hansen. Until the 1930s, the illness was seen as uncurable and highly infectious. Left untreated, leprosy can be progressive, causing permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. In fact leprosy is not highly infectious, as approximately 95% of people are immune and sufferers are no longer infectious after only a couple of days treatment.

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