Romania: inside Europe last leper’s colony
In Tichileşti, in the Danube delta, 19 patients continue to live in Europe’s last leper colony. Evenimentul Zilei reports from a location that was long kept secret by Romanian authorities.
Open sores, exposed bones, missing fingers… In the 1990s, when journalists discovered the leper colony in Tichileşti in the eastern Romanian county of Tulcea, they barely had words to describe the horror of an institution whose existence had long been hidden by state authorities. Twenty years later, much has changed: mainly thanks to one man who devoted his medical knowledge and his remarkable communication skills to make Tichileşti an idyllic hospice for patients suffering from a disease that was long believed to be incurable.
When he first arrived in Tichileşti in 1991, Răzvan Vasiliu had never seen a leper outside of the pages of a book. At the time, there were 61 people at the colony, which today is home to 19 residents. Now aged 53, Vasiliu has become Romania’s only expert on the disease. (via Presseurop)