By Milton J. Lewis, Kerrie L. MacPherson

The Asia-Pacific sector has not just the best focus of inhabitants yet is, arguably, the long run financial centre of the area. Epidemiological transition within the quarter is going on a lot speedier than it did within the West and plenty of international locations face the rising challenge of persistent ailments even as they proceed to grapple with communicable illnesses. This booklet explores how sickness styles and illnesses in Asia and the Pacific, and collective responses to them, were formed through the years through cultural, fiscal, social, demographic, environmental and political components. With fourteen chapters, every one dedicated to a rustic within the area, the authors take a comparative and historic method of the evolution of public well-being and preventive medication, and supply a broader figuring out of the hyperlinks in a globalizing global among overall healthiness at the one hand and tradition, economic system, polity and society at the different. Public well-being in Asia and the Pacific provides the significance of the non-medical context within the background of human illness, in addition to the importance of disorder within the higher histories of the quarter. it is going to attract students and coverage makers within the fields of public overall healthiness, the background of drugs, and people with a much wider curiosity within the Asia-Pacific zone.

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Extra resources for Public Health in Asia and the Pacific: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (Routledge Advances in Asia-Pacific Studies)

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Hong Kong was attacked by Japan on 8 December 1941, and occupied for three years and eight months. The Japanese forced over 1 million people back to China, reducing the population to around 600,000 people, interned national enemies and appropriated civil and private hospitals for their own use (with the exception of the Chinese hospitals). The population that remained ‘was systematically starved’ and suffered from malnutrition, beriberi, pellagra and an upsurge of contagious and communicable diseases – malaria, tuberculosis and venereal diseases – since medicines were scarce, and sewerage and purification of water supplies neglected.

Foreign-directed or -funded medical schools and missionary hospitals and institutions, now equated with ‘imperialist aggression’, were nationalized and foreigners expelled. Curriculums were shortened and revised according to Russian scientific thought like Lysenkoism (characterized as ‘Marxian theory as applied to genetics’), which had disastrous consequences for the development of biomedicine and genetic research (Schneider 2003: 117). Compulsory courses on Marxism-Leninism were introduced as well as political indoctrination and mass meetings.

Education was imperative to overcome the stigma of the disease since the Chinese considered it hereditary and a ‘family disgrace’. ‘Weak lungs’ were thought to be the causative factor, thereby delaying modern medical treatment (as opposed to using TCM) until haemoptysis occurred. qxd 14/09/2007 10:07 AM Page 23 Hong Kong and China: invisible borders 23 overcrowded dwellings spread the disease (Wu 1948: 37). In April–June of 1957, the outbreak of influenza type A/Asian/57 (originating in China) affected 300,000 people (about 10% of the population) and no doubt complicated the problem by increasing coughing and driving people indoors (Director of Medical and Health Services 1957–1958: 15).

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