Feb 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Economic Development has taken steps to convert the Hendala Leprosy Hospital, which is over 300 years old, into a museum and preserve in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Ministry is considering to modernize the ancient hospital as a tourist attraction.
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa this week inspected the hospital at Hekitta, Wattala for renovating it under the Gampaha District hospital modernizing programme.
The hospital was built by Dutch colonials in 1708 and ha treated as many as 1900 patients in the early days.
Admission to the hospital has been stopped in 1983 after the cure for leprosy was found. However 43 persons who do not have place to go after recovery still live at the premises.
The hospital has Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindu shrines in the premises.