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* Sri Lanka to turn age-old leprosy hospital into a museum
Sun, Jan 30, 2011, 11:39 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Health has decided to establish a health museum in the age-old leprosy hospital in Hendala in the Gampaha district, about 10 kilometers north of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

The hospital built in Dutch period is 304 years old now and it was in use until the health system of the country recently brought the disease under control.

The Ministry says the country achieved the leprosy elimination target in 1995 but that does not mean the disease is completely eliminated yet. Sri Lanka hopes to be completely leprosy free by 2025.

The hospital opened in 1708 has Dutch style church, other buildings, equipment including a very old washing machine that can still be used and medical accessories. The Ministry has decided to conserve these historical artifacts.

The Ministry expects to open the museum on the World Leprosy Day next year, a Health Ministry spokesman said.

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