Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

The editors would like to thank the China Medical Board for its generous support of this volume, which is published in connection with the CMB’s hundredth anniversary. This volume owes its existence, in particular, to the vision and initiative of Dr. Lincoln Chen, who has encouraged us in this endeavor from...

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Introduction

Sunil S. Amrith and Tim Harper

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pp. 1-16

In 1914, the life expectancy of an average Indonesian man was under thirty-five years. On the rubber plantations of Perak, in Malaysia, the death rate among Tamil migrant workers was over 85 per 1,000. The health of Southeast Asia’s people, the distribution of its population, and the region’s ecology had all been transformed...

Part I. The Longue Durée

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1 Krom Luang Wongsa and the House of Snidvongs: Knowledge Transition and the Transformation of Medicine in early Modern Siam

Nopphanat Anuphongphat and Komatra Chuengsatiansup

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pp. 19-44

By the end of the seventeenth century, Ayutthaya, the Siamese capital, along with Melaka and Hoi An, had already become regional centers of trade and commercial exchange.¹ Located on an expansive Chao Phraya River with its maze of interconnecting waterways, the entrepôt of Ayutthaya, known to the European...

Part II. Health and Crisis

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2 Pilgrim Ships and the Frontiers of Contagion: Quarantine Regimes from Southeast Asia to the Red Sea

Eric Tagliacozzo

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pp. 47-60

Disease was an important yardstick in how Europeans conceptualized the rest of the world during the past several hundred years.¹ This was particularly so as the Industrial Age wore on, and definite links started to be established between sanitation and public health in the metropolitan capitals of the West.² Yet...

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3 The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 in Southeast Asia

Kirsty Walker

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pp. 61-71

The influenza pandemic of 1918 has been described as the worst demographic disaster of the twentieth century. It traveled insidiously across the globe in a series of waves, decimating many of the populations it encountered, and claiming an estimated worldwide mortality of up to fifty million.¹ It was ruthlessly...

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4 Disaster Medicine in Southeast Asia

Greg Bankoff

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pp. 72-84

Some of the most notorious natural disasters of the past two centuries have taken place in Southeast Asia. Even if death tolls have been greater in other events, the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 and the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 have come to be widely seen as symbolic of the power of nature and the unpredictability...

Part III. Uneven Transitions

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5 The Demographic History of Southeast Asia in the Twentieth Century

Peter Boomgaard

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pp. 87-98

From the middle of the twentieth century, Southeast Asia witnessed a rapid fall in mortality, inaugurating a fundamental demographic transition. By 1945, the very high mortality from infectious diseases in Southeast Asia—detailed in the chapters by Eric Tagliacozzo, Kirsty Walker, and Mary Wilson—had yielded...

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6 "Rural" Health in Modern Southeast Asia

Atsuko Naono

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pp. 99-117

Over the course of the past century in Southeast Asia, the term “rural” received sometimes sporadic and sometimes considerable attention from colonial governments, postcolonial governments, and international and private organizations concerned with health—such as the League of Nations Health Organization...

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7 Population Aging and the Family: The Southeast Asian Context

Theresa W. Devasahayam

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pp. 118-134

Population aging is one of the key demographic drivers of the rise in noncommunicable chronic disease in Southeast Asia. The phenomenon of aging raises far-reaching questions about the locus of responsibility for elder care in the context of changing family structures and shifting public priorities. It is likely to...

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8 Epidemic Disease in Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asia

Mary Wilson

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pp. 135-158

Epidemics can cross borders and encircle the globe. Dynamic and dramatic events, they can seem unpredictable and capricious. They can spread rapidly or slowly and can be caused by old, familiar pathogens, like the bacillus that causes tuberculosis, or by never previously recognized ones, like the SARS coronavirus...

Part IV. The Politics of Health

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9 The Internationalization of Health in Southeast Asia

Sunil S. Amrith

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pp. 161-179

Scholars of Southeast Asia have been more self-conscious than most about the arbitrary boundaries of the region they study. “Southeast Asia” as a term and a concept did not come into widespread use until World War II , when the Allies’ South East Asia Command was established to mirror the geography...

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10 Modernizing Yet Marginal: Hospitals and Asylums in Southeast Asia in the Twentieth Century

Loh Kah Seng

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pp. 180-201

In my interview with Kuang Wee Kee, a former leprosy patient, he spoke of the “three brothers” of illnesses that not only drastically affected his life but also caused great anxiety among the public in Singapore since the colonial era. The “little brother,” he said, was mental illness, which was “quite light” in its impact...

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11 Healing the Nation: Politics, Medicine, and Analogies of Health in Southeast Asia

Rachel Leow

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pp. 202-209

In colonial situations around the world, the relationship among modernity, health, and political power has frequently been invoked by both colonizer and colonized. In India, for example, David Arnold has argued that introduction and spread of Western medical discourses was intended in part to demonstrate the...

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12 Health or Tobacco: Competing Perspectives in Modern Southeast Asia

Loh Wei Leng

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pp. 210-221

In spite of the wide acceptance of tobacco since its introduction from the New World of the Americas to Europe in the mid-sixteenth century, and thereafter disseminated farther afield to other continents by the seventeenth century, there have been those who have been very critical of its...

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13 The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Field of Health in Modern Southeast Asia: The Philippine Experience

Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem

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pp. 222-236

The role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the field of health in the Philippine experience could be best understood in the context of the emergence of individuals and NGOs advocating for “health for the poor.” For these NGOs one way of attaining this is through community-based health programs...

Contributors

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pp. 237-240

Index

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pp. 241-250