360 pages | 6 B/W Illus.
This book highlights the role of acute hunger in malaria lethality in colonial South Asia and investigates how this factor came to be lost in modern medical, epidemic, and historiographic thought.
Using the case studies of colonial Punjab, Sri Lanka, and Bengal, it traces the loss of fundamental concepts and language of hunger in the interwar period with the reductive application of the new specialismsof nutritional science and immunology, and a parallel loss of the distinction between infection (transmission) and morbid disease. The study locates the final demise of the ‘human factor’ (hunger) in malaria history within pre- and early post-World War II international health institutions — the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation and the nascent WHO’s Expert Committee on Malaria. It examines the implications of this epistemic shift for interpreting South Asian health history, and reclaims a broader understanding of common endemic infection (endemiology) as a prime driver in the context of subsistence precarity, of epidemic mortality history and demographic change.
This book will be useful to scholars and researchers of public health, social medicine, history, history of medicine, colonial history, medical sociology, and sociology.
List of Figures and Tables
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. The ‘Human Factor’ Transformed
2. The 1934-35 Ceylon Epidemic and its Epistemic Aftermath
3. Hunger Eclipsed: Nutritional Science in Colonial South Asia
4. The Larger Sanitationist Context
5. Colonial Retrenchment and ‘Selling’ Vector Control
6. Malaria and the W.H.O.: The ‘Human Factor’ Set Aside
7. Allure and Legacies of the Germ Paradigm
8. What Was Lost
Appendix I: Malaria Transmission in Punjab
Appendix II: An Epidemiological Approach to Hunger in History