Public Health in Asia and the Pacific : Historical and Comparative Perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Public Health in Asia and the Pacific
Historical and Comparative Perspectives

ISBN 9780415666497
Published March 16, 2011 by Routledge
304 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Asia-Pacific region has not only the greatest concentration of population but is, arguably, the future economic centre of the world. Epidemiological transition in the region is occurring much faster than it did in the West and many countries face the emerging problem of chronic diseases at the same time as they continue to grapple with communicable diseases.

This book explores how disease patterns and health problems in Asia and the Pacific, and collective responses to them, have been shaped over time by cultural, economic, social, demographic, environmental and political factors. With fourteen chapters, each devoted to a country in the region, the authors take a comparative and historical approach to the evolution of public health and preventive medicine, and offer a broader understanding of the links in a globalizing world between health on the one hand and culture, economy, polity and society on the other.

Public Health in Asia and the Pacific presents the importance of the non-medical context in the history of human disease, as well as the significance of disease in the larger histories of the region. It will appeal to scholars and policy makers in the fields of public health, the history of medicine, and those with a wider interest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Table of Contents

1. Public Health in Asia and the Pacific: An Introduction Milton J. Lewis and Kerrie L. MacPherson  2. Invisible Borders: Hong Kong, China and the Imperatives of Public Health Kerrie L. MacPherson  3. History of Public Health in Modern Japan: The Road to Becoming the Healthiest Nation in the World Masahira Anesaki  4. A History of Public Health in Korea In-Sok Yeo  5. History of Public Health in Modern India: 1857-2005 Radhika Ramasubban  6. Public Health in Thailand: Changing Medical Paradigms and Disease Patterns in Political and Economic Context Paul T. Cohen  7. "Could Confinement be Humanised"? A Modern History of Leprosy in Vietnam Laurence Monnais  8. Conflict and Collaboration in Public Health: The Rockefeller Foundation and the Dutch Colonial Government in Indonesia Terence H. Hull  9. The Political Determinants of Public Health in Timor-Leste: Foreign Domination and the Path to Independence Sue Ingram  10. From Colonial Economy to Social Equity: History of Public Health in Malaysia Kai Hong Phua and Mary Lai Lin Wong  11. From Colony to Global City: Public Health Strategies and the Control of Disease in Singapore Brenda S.A. Yeoh, Kai Hong Phua and Kelly Fu  12. Public Health and the Clash of Cultures: The Philippine Cholera Epidemics Willie T. Ong  13. Public Health in Australia from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century Milton J. Lewis  14. Papua New Guinea: Epidemiological Transition, Public Health and the Pacific Vicki Luker  15. History of Public Health in Pacific Island Countries Richard Taylor

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Milton J. Lewis, an historian of medicine and public health, was a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Public Health, 1989- 2006 and is now at the Australian Health Policy Institute, University of Sydney.

Kerrie L. MacPherson is an Associate Professor of History in the Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management, the University of Hong Kong.


'This is the first major book on the development of modern public health in Asia and the Pacific. Compared to other studies, this book not only provides discussion of the contemporary sanitary situation in these regions, but also considers the historical background of each location....Given the rising interest in medical history in Asian scholarship, this book is a ‘‘must-read.’’'SHI-YUNG LIU, China Quarterly, 2008

'Its coverage is impressive and illuminates the history of health and medicine in some contexts which have received very little attention to date...the essays collected in this volume provide historians and public health workers with a succinct and up-to-date review of developments in a region which is crucial to the health of the whole world.' - Mark Harrison, University of Oxford

'This book is well overdue. Public health history in Asia and the Pacific is critical for any number of reasons—historical and contemporary, biological andsocial, familiar and alien. The editors, then, should be congratulated on bringing together such an important project, and for gathering such a fine troupe of scholars—sociologists, anthropologists, demographers, and historians.' - Alison Bashford, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2009, 83


‘This volume offers multiple resources for historians, anthropologists, sociologists, public health experts, and policy analysts. It will be an indispensable handbook for those interested in a rapid, but in-depth, overview of the issues facing each of the countries covered.’ – Bonnie McElhinny, University of Toronto, Bulletin of the Pacific Circle, No.24, April 2010