Syphilis in Colonial Morocco - The Case of Bousbir

Fouad Laboudi, Jamal Mehssani, Allal Ragoug


Syphilis is a venereal disease. Morocco has witnessed syphilis since the fifteenth century and the treatment of this disease remained archaic until the Protectorate was established.

With the establishment of the colonial system in Morocco, the phenomenon of prostitution spread. Protectorate authorities designated a particular place in Casablanca for such activity that developed: Bousbir district. The authorities’ efforts failed to regulate and organize such activity because of the development of clandestine prostitution in relation to urban growth and the increase of employed, poor and downgraded urban population, especially among women who practice prostitution, and due to lack of a real social policy of the Protectorate concerning the policy of land-use planning or control that were a priority. 


Bousbir, Morocco, venereal diseases, syphilis, protectorate.

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Université Mohammed VI des Sciences de la Santé