Trachoma Hospital, now the Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center, University of Missouri, Rolla, MO
The Trachoma Hospital was completed in 1939 to serve the large number of patients in the Ozark region who were infected with trachoma, the leading cause of blindness at the time. Missouri was in a belt extending from Alabama to Oklahoma where trachoma was prevalent. The predominant forms of therapy were topical medications and in severe cases surgery. Interestingly, in 1937 (before the hospital was built), there was successful treatment of trachoma with oral sulfonalimides. Although this negated the need for the hospital, the start of WWII diverted available supply of these drugs to the military. In the absence of sulfonalimides, the incidence of trachoma returned to pre-war levels. The hospital was constructed to provide treatment with an older form of antibiotics as well as necessary surgeries. After the hospital was closed in the mid-50’s, the building has been used by the highway patrol and now by the University of Missouri, Rolla as a their Rock Mechanics and Explosive Research Center.
Project originally submitted by Charles Swaney on September 15, 2014.