Working Paper
Health and ethnic inequalities in Mozambique with special reference to leprosy

The subject of this paper is health and ethnic inequalities in Mozambique, with special reference to leprosy. It is argued that the health policies and strategies adopted in the colonial and post-colonial periods led to an unequal distribution not only of certain diseases but also of health infrastructures.

The colonial regime, by neglecting and creating ineffective leprosaria in central and northern Mozambique, ‘ethnicized’ Lazarus disease, a fact corroborated by its current unequal distribution. In turn, post-colonial health policies and health coverage failed to take this inequality into account.

The current National Leprosy Control Program aims to end leprosy and thus eliminate its identification with the ethnolinguistic groups in northern and central Mozambique.

This qualitative study, which draws on reports from the Ministry of Health and NGOs, statistics, and observations, falls within the scope of the social sciences, with an emphasis on the comparative historical-sociological method.