IDSB04 Chapter 1: IDSB04 - Week 1 Readings Notes - Chapter 2

International Development Studies
Course Code
Anne- Emanuelle Birn

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IDSB04 – Week 1 (September 8, 2015) Readings – Chapter 2 – The Historical Origins of
Modern International Health
Antecedents of Modern International Health: Black Death, Colonial Conquest, and the
Atlantic Slave Trade
Plague and the Beginnings of Health Regulation
The Rise of European Imperialism
The Slave Trade
Health, The Tropics, and the Imperial System
Tropical Medicine
Industrialization and the Emergence of Modern Public Health
Industrial Revolution in England
Edwin Chadwick and Friedrich Engels
Sanitary Reform in Other Countries
The Making of International Health in the Americas
The Panama Canal
The Internationalization of Health in the European Empire and Beyond
The Rockefeller Foundation
The First International Health Offices

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pp. 17-60 (43 pages)
Key Questions:
-When and why did governments, wealthy interests, and the public become concerned
with the spread of disease across borders and territories?
oBOX 2-1: Motives for Imperial Health
Protecting soldiers and settlers
E.g. US took on public health activities to protect its troops and
colonists from “tropical” diseases after losing troops in Cuba to
malaria and yellow fever
E.g. Spanish and Portuguese adopting medical practitioners into
serving Urban elites
Safeguarding commerce - to make the tropics habitable by European
Prevent the disruption that malaria had on the abandonment on
rubber estates
Ensuring the productivity of workers
Malaria’s threat to the productivity of plantation workers
Improving colonial relations and staving off unrest – reinforce political and
social stratification between colonizer and colonized
E.g. 1552 – 2 Aztec men were enlisted to write a book on
indigenous medicinal herbs for the Spanish emperor
E.g. hiding diseased settlers in order to perpetuate the myth that
Europeans possessed superior immunity meant that role of public
health in human well-being was a low-order consideration
“civilizing” colonial relations – to subjugate conquered populations
“civilized function of medicine upon native peoples
infectious diseases originated in the “primitive and dangerous
world” of the tropics, fascination with acclimatization and racial
-How were these concerns addressed? (see above)
-What motivated the rise of international health agencies, and what influenced their
oBOX 2-6: Early International Health Organizations, Location, and Year of
1902: Pan American Sanitary Bureau, DC
1907: Office Internationale d’Hygiene Publique, Paris
1913: RF, NYC
1919: Save the Children, London
1923: League of Nations Health Organization, Geneva
oBOX 2-5: International Health Imperatives
Red Cross
Missionary work
Red Cross
War relief

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pp. 17-60 (43 pages)
Red Cross
Rockefeller Foundation
International Sanitary Conferences
Economic development
International Sanitary Conferences
Sharing of expertise (And technology transfer)
The Pasteur Institute
Transnational sharing
International Sanitary Conferences
Data collection/disease surveillance; standardization
Antecedents of Modern International Health: Black Death, Colonial Conquest, and the
Atlantic Slave Trade
-What are the historical origins of international health and key moments in its
-Civilizations as early as the ancient Chinese, Egyptian, Greco-Roman, and
Mesoamerican had been involved in public health measures
-Public health measures expanded beyond local regions by the Middle ages
Plague and the Beginnings of Health Regulation
-2 major pandemics
oJustinian Plague – 542 CE
oBlack Death – 14th century
Early attempts
Quarantine - 40 day detention period for entering vessels
Cordon sanitaire – protective belt barring entry of people or goods
to cities or entire regions
Venice established the first lazaretto, quarantine station to hold
and disinfect humans and cargo
Girolamo Fracastoro – theorized the “seeds of disease” could be spread
Direct contact
Bad air
Middle Ages – hospitals became established
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