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Contagion and EnclavesTropical Medicine in Colonial India$
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Nandini Bhattacharya

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318290

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317835

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Tropical Medicine in Its ‘Field’: Malaria, Hookworm and the Rhetoric of the ‘Local’

Tropical Medicine in Its ‘Field’: Malaria, Hookworm and the Rhetoric of the ‘Local’

(p.149) Chapter 7 Tropical Medicine in Its ‘Field’: Malaria, Hookworm and the Rhetoric of the ‘Local’
Contagion and Enclaves
Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the dynamics between colonial enclaves and tropical medicine in twentieth-century India. Although British Indian medical discourse and practice accepted germ theory, miasmatic and climatic theories of disease were never abandoned. In colonial India, tropical diseases remained tied to specific ‘zones’ and ‘localities’. The tea plantations were an important site for the exploration of new ideas and experimentation designed to control malaria and other archetypical ‘tropical’ disease in India in general and Bengal in particular. The chapter first provides an overview of malaria in the Darjeeling foothills before turning to the issue of acquired immunity to malarial fever through racial acclimatisation. It also discusses the debate between prevention and prophylaxis in the military cantonment called Mian Mir, the anti-malarial operation at Meenglas Tea Estate in the Duars, the relationship between tropical medicine and entrepreneurial patronage, and research on hookworm in the tea plantations.

Keywords:   India, tropical medicine, colonial enclaves, tea plantations, localities, malaria, tropical diseases, Darjeeling, prophylaxis, Meenglas Tea Estate

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