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Lecture 10

Global Asia Studies Lecture 10.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Global Asia Studies

Global Asia Studies Lecture 10 Focus of lecture: Disease - a look into disease flood, famine and war. Disease discussed within this lecture includes: leprosy, cholera, plague, kala-azar and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) o What is blight?  It is essentially something that ends with destruction  Any cause of impairment, destruction, ruin, or frustration o There are three categories in which disease can be labeled: 1. Endemic disease – saps a community over time  Belonging exclusively or confined to a particular place 2. Epidemic disease – strikes urbanized communities suddenly  Affecting many persons at the same time, and spreading from person to person in a locality where the disease is not permanently prevalent. 3. Pandemic disease – global spread  Prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area. o Leprosy (bacterial, not highly contagious):  What is leprosy?  An ancient disease that is not highly infectious, chronic bacterial disease; cause found by Hansen in 1870  Formerly believed to be highly contagious and sexually transmitted  Social stigma remains; ideas of corruption and degeneration; leper colonies  The beginning of leprosy starts off with the Judeo-Christian understanding of this disease, as that view has a substantial impact on the management of the disease in Asian communities.  “And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, unclean, unclean.All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.”  Within the Old Testament this was seen as a disease that rendered the sick unclean, to be sent away.  In the new testament, Jesus tolerates and heals lepers = new tradition of Christian leper care missionary leper colonies which inspired these parts of South Asia and China  Reading 10.1 – A glimpse at the Indian mission field and leper asylums in 1886-87  The author accounts of a journey in India which consists of rough notes and the glimpse that he caught of the work of the different missions as he passed on his way  He is very conscious of the imperfect attempt he has made to give the impressions produced on his own mind – his object was to visit as many Leper Asylums as possible visiting Bombay, Madras, and Bengal presidencies  Growing important of mission work amongst the lepers of India, and the increasing interest awakened in their spiritual and temporal welfare amongst Christians at home,  In the Bombay asylum called the Dharmsala – a place destined for all kinds of destitute natives, but considerable more than half the inmates are lepers who live in a part railed off from the others.  Described as a sad community of 150 doomed ones; wifeless husbands, husbandless wives, children without parents, and parents without children who have been driven out of house and home by their relatives as soon as it became known that they fell to the leper disease  Even the early disease developers had to live with the people who had the last stage of leprosy and view the stages to their death as well  In the Dharmsala there is no attempt made to separate the sexes; men, women, and children are all huddled together in cells, 6 by 8 ft, two people occupying one cell, and in some cases, where there are children, there are more than two in one.  Lepers described to have black blood flowing free in order to relieve the itching; poor maimed limbs, and distorted faces, latter generally wearing a dull, hopeless expression, showing clearly that all brightness has long since gone out of their lives  In madras he experienced the asylum very differently; temperature in Madras were much lower than in Bombay  Most of the inmates were Christian; they were separated amongst their respected groups (gender, age, etc.)  They were being educated about their disease, and they’re was a much cleaner environment with a more modernized approach to care given  Reading 10.3 – The Susrutasamhita:  Discusses the diagnosis of skin diseases especially the fearful prejudice against leprosy:  Kustha = leprosy and paparogam =disease  They say that the disease of leprosy arises as a result of [bad] deeds such as slaying a brahmin, a woman or a virtuous person, or theft.  A child born of a man and woman whose blood and semen are tainted with leprosy should be regarded as leprous.  If one dies with leprosy one gets it again when one is born again. Therefore there is no worse disease. [Thus] is leprosy declared.  The person who maintains the recommended practice of diet and regimen may, through the use of specific medicines and austerity, be released [from leprosy] and gain a state of health.  Pilgrimage and leprosy in South Asia & China and is diaspora:  The article describes the attention given to leprosy in centers of pilgrimaging such as Puri and Orissa  Leprosy was early viewed as a condition of impurity. Buddhist asylums aimed to purify leprosy patients through ritual and good conduct. th  The idea of contagion arose in the 13 century  A model was established of segregation in non-religious institutions, medical treatment and productive labour aimed at improving character  Can relate to previous lecture from the Buddhist aim to purify through good conduct; also curable with medication  From 16th century, nonreligious asylums; purify through medicine and labour; also from 16th century, Christian missionary asylums  In 19th century, China seen as a dangerous source of leprosy  Chinese diaspora regarded as conduit of global spread of the disease  Western style ”hygienic modernity” adopted to overcome stigma of association with the disease o What is cholera?  Cholera is a bacterial disease, most commonly spread water-borne and is highly contagious  It brought forth the importance of sanitation  1854 John Snow determines association with contaminated water  In 1869 the Suez Canal was opened, joining the east and the west. Suddenly, the Haj to Mecca became possible for more pilgrims. European and Colonial anxiety over the disease threat presented by the pilgrimage was raised. The large outbreak of cholera at Mecca in 1865 and its spread through Europe had already given warning of the possibility of disease spread. Pilgrims were quarantined and examined for signs of disease.
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