Laboratory on the Nile: A History of the Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratories

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Taylor & Francis, Oct 20, 1999 - Medical - 281 pages
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Explore the tropical medical research and findings of the British and Sudanese doctors and scientists in the 1900s!

Laboratory on the Nile describes in detail the work of The Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratories in Khartoum, Sudan, that was under the direction of Dr. Andrew Balfour in the aftermath of the reconquest of The Sudan after the Mahdia period. As a student of tropical medicine or a medical or pharmaceutical historian, you will discover how the floating laboratory helped to advance tropical medicine as it was towed along the reaches of both the Blue and White Niles to gain clinical cases, collect specimens, and learn about the lives and customs of the Arab and Negroid Sudanese.

Based on the complete set of reports and reviews of the Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratories, Laboratory on the Nile presents a summary of the military and political matters that brought the British and Dervish forces of the Mahdia into armed conflict. You will explore how the conqueror, Kitchener of Khartoum, led his people toward civilization with an educational movement that allowed industrial philanthropist Henry S. Wellcome to provide the means for medical research.

Complete with multiple photos and drawings of the period (1899-1913), Laboratory on the Nile covers the research of what became a world-renowned center of excellence in tropical disease research. In Laboratory on the Nile, you will discover research that revealed brutal and superstitious practices such as female circumcision, mutilation, crude surgery, barbaric medical practices, the inhumane treatment of those thought to be possessed by devils, and the reliance on charms and mystic-religious practices. Within this historical work you will also explore:
  • research on tropical diseases and the collection of plants, insects, blood samples, and photographs of diseased individuals
  • research on the Nile river, and in agricultural developments, dealing with famines from failed harvests
  • eradicating the mosquito and instilling sanitary conditions in Sudan to halt the spread of diseases and ailments such as dysentery, enteric fever, malaria, measles, and chicken-pox
  • fascinating accounts of Dervish medicine that was a combination of savage quackery and charlatan tricks
  • investigations into tropical medicine, hygiene, parasitology, and sanitation
  • the efforts used to treat the Kal-azar disease which has a long and fatal history in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
  • detailed accounts of early research expeditions that examined the people themselves, their customs, superstitions, and traditional medical practices
Laboratory on the Nile is an in-depth look at the tropical medical research and studies that were conducted to benefit the people of The Sudan in fighting diseases. You will gain considerable insight into this fascinating and historical account of these world-renowned research efforts that have helped medicine become what it is today.

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About the author (1999)

Patrick F. D'Arcy is Professor Emeritus at The Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.

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