What Are Some Facts About the Molokai Leper Colony?


Quick Answer

The Molokai Leper Colony, located on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, began in 1866 when the government of Hawaii forced anyone with the disease into exile on the island. At that time, there was no cure for leprosy, a chronic bacterial infection also known as Hansen's Disease.

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Full Answer

The colony, also known as the community of Kalaupapa, was home to thousands of people with leprosy until 1969, when the government of Hawaii officially revoked its mandatory exile on patients with the disease. Many exiled patients chose to remain on the island after the forced quarantine was lifted, and many former patients remain there. As of 2015, the youngest resident is 73 years old, and authorities are currently considering opening the colony to tourists once the last inhabitant dies.

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