Venereal hospital Djokjakarta


Lieutenant-Governor Raffles did not only take care of an extensive smallpox vaccination programme, but he also embarked upon the fighting of venereal diseases. He ordered the isolation of syphilitic prostitutes by establishing Women’s hospitals.
The first one was founded in Djokjakarta in 1816.
Later in this century the policy of the NI authorities concerning syphilis became formulated in regeulations of 1852 (averting the harmful consequences resulting from prostitution) and a larger budget became available in the fight against venereal diseases. These regulations followed the French system: registration of all prostitutes, compulsory examination, if necessary followed by treatment and the assembling of the women in brothels wherever possible. The regulations became operative in most residencies of Java and in some places in the Outer Provinces.
The effect of all these measures was questionable and so the 1852 regulation was withdrawn in 1874.
The combat against prostitution became a matter of ‘police regulations’ henceforth and entrusted to the local authorities.

In 1816 a small hospital at Djokjakarta was built next to the river near the fort and accomodated 80 women.
Care of the patients was in the hands of two Javanese supervisor, a Javanese cook and four coolies for the rough work. A local physician took care of the medical attendance. During the Java War (1825-1830) the hospital was evacuated and was used for military purposes. It was never re-opened.