This tour of inspection was made under the auspices of the International Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation, and of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute of Rio Janeiro. Souza-Araujo had previously been concerned for several years with the control of leprosy in Brazil, and had also been engaged in experimental work on leprosy. He therefore had a suitable background for the study of leprosy in other countries.
The method pursued was to make the acquaintance of the prominent leprologists in each country, and under their guidance to make a complete study of the history of the disease and a survey of the local administrative measures. The leper hospitals or colonies are described with numerous photographs, giving the details of their administration, the personnel and their duties, methods of treatment and results, the results of isolation where it has been practiced, and the laws controlling lepers.