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A History of Imperial Tropical Medicine

Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine

  • Date Published: December 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521530606


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About the Authors
  • The advent of tropical medicine was a direct consequence of European and American imperialism, when military personnel, colonial administrators, businessmen, and settlers encountered a new set of diseases endemic to the tropics. Professor Farley describes how governments and organizations in Britain, the British colonies, the United States, Central and South America, South Africa, China, and the World Health Organization faced one particular tropical disease, bilharzia or schistosomiasis. Bilharzia is caused by a species of blood vessel-inhabiting parasitic worms and today afflicts over 200 million people in seventy-four countries. John Farley demonstrates that British and American imperial policies and attitudes largely determined the nature of tropical medicine. Western medical practitioners defined the type of medical system that was imposed on the indigenous populations; they dictated which diseases were important and worthy of study, which diseases were to be controlled, and which control methods were to be used.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521530606
    • length: 372 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 156 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables and figures
    1. Introduction
    Part I. The Imperial Approach (1898–World War II):
    2. 1898: a declaration of war
    3. 1898: another war, another continent
    4. Bilharzia (1850–1918): the Looss controversies
    5. The International Health Board
    6. Bilharzia: optimism in Egypt (1918–39)
    7. Into the 1930s: economics of disease
    8. The 1930s: empires in transition
    9. Bilharzia: World War II
    Part II. A Brief Interlude: Social Medicine:
    10. New ideas
    11. Bilharzia: pessimism in Egypt (1940–55)
    12. Bilharzia: victory in China?
    Part III. The Professional Approach (1950–1970s):
    13. The new British Empire: finding the experts
    14. South Africa (1950–60): social medicine versus scientific research
    15. Bilharzia: second to only one
    16. Bilharzia (1950–1970s): a strategic change
    17. Conclusion: the imperial triad

  • Author

    John Farley, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia

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