Reportage by Getty Images
"Half a Century Without Freedom - Life under the Military Regime of Burma"
Besides having to cope with low living standards, the Burmese are facing a health system which is almost in ruins.
Two patients in a leprosy clinic have lunch. The colony or, Leprosy Village as it is known, was created when, in 1989, the generals decided to forcibly move lepers from Rangoon and other areas to the village. At a time when other countries had stopped isolating leprosy patients in colonies and where treatment had proved succesful in stopping transmission of the disease, the health ministry moved hundreds of people there. Back then, it was deep mosqito-infested jungle and that in the first year up to half of all the patients died. From malaria – not from leprosy. For many years, they hardly had enough food and to this day, the clinic only receives 20 cent per patient per day from the authorities. This is supposed to cover medicine, food and all other necessities but it barely even covers 1/7 of the price of rice for one day. If it hadn’t been for private donations and a few NGOs, the patients wood possibly be starving.