Eversley Childs Treatment Station was the first regional institution established purposely to make segregation and treatment of patients suffering from leprosy more attractive. This was a departure from the system of compulsory segregation of all bacterio-positive cases in Culion. It was later renamed Eversley Childs Sanitarium.
The institution is in the north of Cebu, specifically located in Barangay Jagobiao, (formerly Sitio Utak of barrio Basak) in Mandaue City, in the hilly region about 150 feet above sea level, spacious and studded with trees; and because of its sloping terrain and its proximity to a big spring, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez and Dr. Wade considered the place an ideal site for a leprosarium.
Facing the problem of acquiring the land site, and Evaluation committee was created which consisted of Mr. Nichols, an experienced realtor in Cebu as Chairman, and his members were Mr. Jose Solon of the Provincial Board and Mayor Ariston Cortes of Mandaue whose efforts help in the acquisition of 39 different parcels of land with a total land area of 322,830 sq. meters with the Provincial Board appropriating, as promised, the amount necessary for the purchase of the site which even included parcels of land owned by Senator Sergio Osmeña that he immediately agreed to donate. This dry land in Block I is the site for a leprosarium.
Proclamation No. 507 pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 81 Act 2874 dated October 21, 1932, created additional reserved site for the Eversley Childs Treatment Station with an area of 19.9575 hectares. This was then imposed as Block II.
Last May 14, 2009, Presidential Proclamation No. 1772 was declared providing a portion (11.8 hectares) of Block II for urban development and socialize housing site in favor of qualified beneficiaries under the provision of Republic Act No. 7279 otherwise known as the Urban Development Housing Act. There was however some inconsistencies. While the said Presidential Proclamation or title, was speaking about Block II, the technical description of the said lot is in Block I. Finally, per advice of a lawyer from the Office of the Solicitor General, the technical description will prevail over the title of the proclamation. The remaining area in Block I (excluding the area for socialized housing) which is 20.7 hectares doesn’t have any papers (Presidential Proclamation, Title Certificate, nor donation papers) and is at present contested in court. An area of 5 hectares with perimeter fence is where the hospital is located and is within the said contested area of land.
Block I --------------------- 32.2830 hectares
Socialized Housing - 11.8
Contested Area - 20.74
Hospital Zone (Fenced Area - 5.00
Block II --------------------- 19.9575 hectares
The approximate area of the institution is 52.2405 hectares
The institution was built by the Leonard Wood Memorial with most of the funds donated by the late Mr. Eversley Childs of New York, USA, hence the name, Evesley Childs Sanitarium, in honor of the late donor. The total cost was about 400,000.00 which were spent for the construction of 52 concrete buildings (11 cottages for females and 22 for males, 5 bathhouses, 2 infirmaries, powerhouse, carpentry shop, general kitchen and storage, consultation and treatment clinics and offices), waterworks, sewerage, road and telephone system, equipment and the likes.
The construction of the building were started sometime on May 1928 and was completed 2 years later. It was formally turned over the Philippine government and was opened May 30, 1930 with 540 patients transferred in from Caretta Treatment Station, now Cebu Skin Clinic in Cebu City.
Its first chief of Sanitaria was Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez.
A group identified with the religious sector provided comfort and love and unselfish service to the patients. The Jesuits priests, then the Redemtorist Fathers, the Belgian Sisters of the ICM or RVM, and the Protestant congregation (UCCP) made possible a wholesome community where even the children would not miss the usual activities they may experience outside the sanitarium. Thus there were boy scouts, campfire girls, women’s club, church choir and an orchestra whose instruments were donated by a certain Mr. Cleveland. Religious feast days were celebrated with much fun fare and fervor.
Before WWII the number of persons afflicted with HD reached over a thousand, with the implementation of RA 4073 which provided for a more liberalized domiciliary concept of management of people affected with leprosy. The success of MDT decreased the number of those confined that steadily declined; currently it is leveling off to the present average of 150 patients daily.
The history of the sanitarium could not be written without the chronicle of these selfless individuals who made confinement as less painful and impossible to bear. Names remembered are those of Father Clement, Mother Dorothy, Mother Rictrude, Mother Miguela and Mother Benigna.