In the late nineteenth century it became clear to the British government that health hazards facing those serving in warmer climates, particularly West Africa, were unacceptable. This led to the origin of a new clinical specialty – tropical medicine. Until the Great War (1914-18), the discipline flourished not only in Britain but in every country with possessions in a warm climate. However, in the 1920s, for reasons outlined in this book, tropical medicine in London became incorporated into the nascent School of Hygiene, established primarily with American finance. The essential clinical component was largely ignored and was continued by the Seamen’s Hospital Society and subsequently the National Health Service. This separation, both geographically and administratively, led to a divorce of the clinical component from the basic sciences, each of which was in effect under control of a separate body. Although the London School of Hygiene (and Tropical Medicine) has survived intact, the clinical component has undergone an irreversible downhill trend.
This book explores the origins and subsequent decline of what is more appropriately designated colonial medicine.
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About the Author
Professor Gordon Cook, DSc, MD, FRCP is a physician with a special interest in tropical and infectious diseases, and a medical historian; he was formerly a Medical Specialist, Royal Nigerian Army; Lecturer in Medicine, Makerere University, Uganda; Professor of Medicine, The University of Zambia; Professor of Medicine, Riyadh University, Saudi Arabia; Professor of Medicine, The University of Papua New Guinea; Visiting Professor of Medicine, The Universities of Basrah and Mosul, Iraq; and Visiting Professor, Quatar.