counter create hit The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria

Availability: Ready to download

Malaria sickens hundreds of millions of people—and kills one to three million—each year. Despite massive efforts to eradicate the disease, it remains a major public health problem in poorer tropical regions. But malaria has not always been concentrated in tropical areas. How did other regions control malaria and why does the disease still flourish in some parts of the glob Malaria sickens hundreds of millions of people—and kills one to three million—each year. Despite massive efforts to eradicate the disease, it remains a major public health problem in poorer tropical regions. But malaria has not always been concentrated in tropical areas. How did other regions control malaria and why does the disease still flourish in some parts of the globe? From Russia to Bengal to Palm Beach, Randall Packard’s far-ranging narrative traces the natural and social forces that help malaria spread and make it deadly. He finds that war, land development, crumbling health systems, and globalization—coupled with climate change and changes in the distribution and flow of water—create conditions in which malaria's carrier mosquitoes thrive. The combination of these forces, Packard contends, makes the tropical regions today a perfect home for the disease. Authoritative, fascinating, and eye-opening, this short history of malaria concludes with policy recommendations for improving control strategies and saving lives.


Compare
Ads Banner

Malaria sickens hundreds of millions of people—and kills one to three million—each year. Despite massive efforts to eradicate the disease, it remains a major public health problem in poorer tropical regions. But malaria has not always been concentrated in tropical areas. How did other regions control malaria and why does the disease still flourish in some parts of the glob Malaria sickens hundreds of millions of people—and kills one to three million—each year. Despite massive efforts to eradicate the disease, it remains a major public health problem in poorer tropical regions. But malaria has not always been concentrated in tropical areas. How did other regions control malaria and why does the disease still flourish in some parts of the globe? From Russia to Bengal to Palm Beach, Randall Packard’s far-ranging narrative traces the natural and social forces that help malaria spread and make it deadly. He finds that war, land development, crumbling health systems, and globalization—coupled with climate change and changes in the distribution and flow of water—create conditions in which malaria's carrier mosquitoes thrive. The combination of these forces, Packard contends, makes the tropical regions today a perfect home for the disease. Authoritative, fascinating, and eye-opening, this short history of malaria concludes with policy recommendations for improving control strategies and saving lives.

30 review for The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pete

    A very good history of malaria

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rama

    Epidemiology of Malaria: Strategies for its Eradication This is an outstanding textual documentary of a tropical disease that takes the lives of about two million people every year; over 1.8 million of them are from Africa since the highest transmission is found south of Sahara. It is unfortunate that in this age of biomedical revolution that malaria is a force to reckon. The author is associated with the eradication of this disease since late 1960s and his authoritative work shed light on the im Epidemiology of Malaria: Strategies for its Eradication This is an outstanding textual documentary of a tropical disease that takes the lives of about two million people every year; over 1.8 million of them are from Africa since the highest transmission is found south of Sahara. It is unfortunate that in this age of biomedical revolution that malaria is a force to reckon. The author is associated with the eradication of this disease since late 1960s and his authoritative work shed light on the impact of economy, climate changes, political unrest and war on the prevalence and propagation of this infectious disease. Malaria is caused by a parasitic protozoan of genus Plasmodium which is carried and transmitted by a female Anopheline Mosquito. The distribution of malaria in the middle of 19 century includes temperate regions of North America, Europe and Asia. Levels of sanitation, housing, and public health surveillance minimize the disease, but the global warming, and international labor migration could change this equilibrium. Improvements in agriculture system contributed to the disappearance of malaria by eliminating breeding sites of Anopheline mosquito, and secondly by the evolution of natural genetic defense mechanisms such as mutations at Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). This gene provides instruction for making the enzyme with the same name, and this enzyme is active in virtually all types of cells involved in normal processing of carbohydrates. Over the history of malaria, different variation of this gene appears in different areas and they seem to have evolved independently of each other as a response malaria infection. The genetic mutation is eventually eliminated by natural selection. The expansion of malaria from Africa into Asia occurred over several millennia. Vedic writings (Hindu scriptures) dating back to 1500 B.C.E refer to this as autumnal fever. The island of Sardinia is perhaps the gateway for the introduction of this infectious disease into Europe. At the end of American Revolution, agricultural lands opened for farming and increased the migration of European settlers, thus paving the way for westward migration of the malaria. The epidemiological reports for United States show that when the living conditions were better the spread malaria and its related deaths decreased, but when the living conditions were poorer the malaria related deaths increased. There is an interesting negative correlation between cotton prices and malaria deaths (page 74). Changes in crops and the use of lands for production had ecological consequences and direct effect on mosquito breeding. The British reports of 1908 epidemic of malaria that took the lives of 300,000 in Punjab, India were attributed to economic stress and hunger. It is unclear how malaria related deaths in Africa and Europe is not attributed to hunger. Nevertheless the economics of farming and poor planning of British colonial power was responsible for rising prices of essential food. The author has presented a good discussion about this controversy (pages 95-102). Future research in genetics, archeology, and history of malaria may provide satisfactory explanation for many unanswered questions about the epidemiology of malaria in Punjab. The global risk of malaria is still strong and the eradication programs are working in Caribbean countries but unfortunately the reduction of required resources has a slight negative impact in India (Chapter 6). The political unrest and military conflicts have significant negative impact on the malaria eradication programs in Colombia, Nicaragua and Central Asia (Chapter 7). Note: The page/chapter numbers refer to the "advanced uncorrected proof (galley)." This copy was made available under the Amazon Vine program.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Oden

    Once upon a time there was a mosquito. And this mosquito carried something with her and gave it to everyone she met. Men in peculiar outfits sprayed all over the land, and the mosquito was banished, in that land at least. This is the story of malaria. The story that I've heard. But the actual story of Malaria is a lot more complex. Who would have, for instance, expected a history on a supposed tropical disease to begin with a study of a city in Northern Russia? The Making of a Tropical Disease do Once upon a time there was a mosquito. And this mosquito carried something with her and gave it to everyone she met. Men in peculiar outfits sprayed all over the land, and the mosquito was banished, in that land at least. This is the story of malaria. The story that I've heard. But the actual story of Malaria is a lot more complex. Who would have, for instance, expected a history on a supposed tropical disease to begin with a study of a city in Northern Russia? The Making of a Tropical Disease does just that. Honestly, this isn't always a fun book to read. Some books are very good about inspiration and motivation and glide along in presenting the chosen perspective. This isn't about inspiration or motivation. It is more ambitious. There are times in which it slows down and gets into details and spends a long time one what might seem a minor point. But, this negative isn't really a criticism. These seemingly minor points are in fact important, and it is the tendency to gloss over such points that undermine so many attempts to respond. This certainly is a well written book. Randall Packard is a very good writer, and even with my above comment I must add he does a wonderful job of making personal connection. In his journey through the history of where malaria spread he does not only relate facts and figures. He tells a story, and in telling that story has written a very, very solid history. But more than a history The Making of a Tropical Disease is also really a book on global policy. Packard does not hide this fact. He is making the point that malaria is not simply a story about random mosquitoes who live in unfortunate places. Rather, malaria is a disease that responds to human interaction, and throughout history there is a direct correlation between policy, politics, land use, economics and the occurrence of malaria. Humans interact with this world, and this interaction is not neutral but rather creates changes. These changes can bring open the door to ill effects. This is not simply asserted and then policies recommended that fit some pre-conceived political bias. Rather, Packard is very scientific and very good in his history, laying out clearly the practices and results that led to malaria in certain regions. He respects the use of sources and when making a leap in interpretation or dealing with a situation in which clear records might be sketchy he admits this. His interpretation of data, however, seems solid even when he must depend on inference. Packard is laying an absolutely solid foundation to a holistic policy in regards to malaria, and more than malaria. In a way this is a very post-modern book. The pre-moderns suffered from nature. The moderns sought to conquer nature, overwhelming it. The mass application of DDT resulted. Packard builds a middle ground, arguing that we should neither be victims but nor should we deny our own impact. Instead, by understanding nature, malaria and mosquitoes and land and water and humanity, we can develop intentional policies that that reflect the unintentional answers to past malaria outbreaks. This really is an extraordinary book. For those who are interested in diseases it makes for an interesting read. For those who are interested in global politics and policies it pushes beyond the usual responses and builds a solid case for real, lasting and healthy actions that can literally save lives and entire regions from decay. My perspective on malaria was at the same time begun and provoked, leading me to see so much of global realities with a new understanding. Very few books can be considered transformational, but Packard really did transform my thinking. This should be a required book for anyone involved in global studies.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lolita Lark

    Randall M. Packard is another of those well-meaning historians who is interested in informing us but, in the process, puts the reader into a narcoleptic twilight zone. I am quite a fan of books on the earth's scourges (disease, war, madness, greed, fundamentalist Baptists) but I insist on being entertained while I am being instructed, even on the most horrific details. The facts of malaria are well known, interesting, and can be woven into a fascinating history if you are a Hans Zinsser or a J. W Randall M. Packard is another of those well-meaning historians who is interested in informing us but, in the process, puts the reader into a narcoleptic twilight zone. I am quite a fan of books on the earth's scourges (disease, war, madness, greed, fundamentalist Baptists) but I insist on being entertained while I am being instructed, even on the most horrific details. The facts of malaria are well known, interesting, and can be woven into a fascinating history if you are a Hans Zinsser or a J. W. Howarth. Unfortunately, if you are a Randall Packard, the story of malaria becomes a sloughing contest, sloughing the poor reader through countless, repetitive facts to get to a muddled, inconclusive ending. It doesn't have to be so, and there are facts that manage, somehow, to escape the author's miasma. We know that malaria is caused by mosquito bites even though that is a misnomer. Mosquitoes don't bite you; they stab you; then they spit into your capillaries before sucking your blood; thus, the source of infections like malaria, yellow fever and dengue is mosquito spit. As Packard rightly indicates, malaria is caused by poverty, poor sanitation, deforestation, overcrowding, and cows, horses, pigs, and goats (farm animals attract blood-sucking insects, which by feeding on them, causes more mosquitoes to appear). There are charts in The Making of a Tropical Disease that give some strange correlations. One graph pits the rate of malaria infection vs. foreign aid offered to Third World countries (p. 170). We might intuit that one: less aid, more disease. More startling is the ratio between mortality and the price of cotton in the Mississippi Delta (p. 74). "While the conditions under which sharecroppers lived were generally poor, they became worse when cotton prices bottomed out." As the price of cotton fell, sharecroppers' ability to maintain their homes, feed their families, and acquire medicines when sick declined. Even more tragically, when Americans get their dander up about local politics, deaths can rise exponentially. "Socialist tendencies by the Sri Lankan government led the United States to withdraw foreign aid from the country in 1963." At the time Sri Lanka had all but eradicated malaria, with 6 reported cases in the entire year. Over the next five years, malaria exploded upward, reaching 1 million cases by 1968. We punished India the same way in 1972 for "entering into a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union. Malaria cases went from less than a million to seven million by 1976." More at www.ralphmag.org

  5. 5 out of 5

    J.S.

    As the title implies, malaria is typically a tropical disease, but as Randall M. Packard explains, there are conditions that enable it to thrive almost anywhere. And in this surprisingly easy to read book he examines the history of this lethal disease, from the death of Pope Gregory XV in 1623 and earlier evidences, to the present day status in Africa and the isolated outbreaks in places like Palm Beach, FL and San Diego, CA. He explains the relationship between the four Plasmodium parasites and As the title implies, malaria is typically a tropical disease, but as Randall M. Packard explains, there are conditions that enable it to thrive almost anywhere. And in this surprisingly easy to read book he examines the history of this lethal disease, from the death of Pope Gregory XV in 1623 and earlier evidences, to the present day status in Africa and the isolated outbreaks in places like Palm Beach, FL and San Diego, CA. He explains the relationship between the four Plasmodium parasites and various anepheles mosquitos which act as vectors or carriers, and the environmental, economic, social, and even political conditions that are common to most serious outbreaks. And Dr. Packard does an excellent job of illustrating how these conditions are conducive to spreading the disease and the various successes and failures in attempts to eradicate malaria. Part of what makes malaria so dreadful is that a person doesn't become immune after having it once, such as happens with chicken pox or measles. People who are regularly exposed to it can develop a partial resistance, but this only means that they don't get as sick as those with no prior exposure. I also found the discussion of DDT interesting, and his comment that by the time DDT was banned it had already lost much of it's effectiveness as resistant strains of the parasite had developed. But he also manages to put a human face on those at risk of infection, reminding us that malaria is still a problem to be reckoned with. I do not have a background in medicine or biology, and was a bit hesitant to read this book, but I found it very informative and only occasionally got lost in medical details and terminology. It was interesting from a historical and social viewpoint, providing a different perspective on history than what is usually given in history books. It's not an exciting who-dunnit kind of book, but is serious and academic in it's approach, so won't appeal to everyone. But if you have an interest it's an alternative and enlightening history.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Darryl

    This was a superb and very readable historical and epidemiological overview of malaria, from the director of the Institute for the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins. The author begins the book with his own experience with this disease, as he contracted malaria while working in a clinic in Uganda, and the heroic but often futile efforts of the clinic to curtail the disease in the community. The first half of the book discusses the origins of malaria in antiquity in Africa, and its subsequent s This was a superb and very readable historical and epidemiological overview of malaria, from the director of the Institute for the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins. The author begins the book with his own experience with this disease, as he contracted malaria while working in a clinic in Uganda, and the heroic but often futile efforts of the clinic to curtail the disease in the community. The first half of the book discusses the origins of malaria in antiquity in Africa, and its subsequent spread to and remission in other continents. The second half discusses the efforts in the late 19th century to the present time to suppress or eradicate the disease, and the author makes a strong case for the importance of political and economic factors, such as agricultural development, poverty, population migration, and civil unrest, in explaining the persistence of this infection, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where it remains a major killer. Dr. Packard ends with an analysis and critique of Roll Back Malaria, the current international effort to reduce the incidence and prevalence of malaria, and makes suggestions, based on his extensive knowledge and research, that will have a greater likelihood of success in combating the disorder. This book can be appreciated by those without a medical or public health background, and should be of interest to anyone interested in malaria, public health, and global development.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Max

    This was disappointing. I'm not sure how many times a book can re-write variations of the sentence, "Changing social and economic conditions transformed the ecological relationship of malaria parasites and human hosts, resulting in a decline/increase in malaria burden," but the author exceeded his allotment by several thousand percent. It's a useful point, and one well worth making, but I'm not sure if I've ever read a book that hammers its point so repetitively. Also, I'm not sure that it is a This was disappointing. I'm not sure how many times a book can re-write variations of the sentence, "Changing social and economic conditions transformed the ecological relationship of malaria parasites and human hosts, resulting in a decline/increase in malaria burden," but the author exceeded his allotment by several thousand percent. It's a useful point, and one well worth making, but I'm not sure if I've ever read a book that hammers its point so repetitively. Also, I'm not sure that it is a very productive argument. Yes, improving social and economic conditions would be great for decreasing malaria, but no one is arguing that we shouldn't improve social and economic conditions for people around the world. But while we're work for social and economic betterment, what can we do to manage and control malaria rates as efficiently and effectively as possible. Here the book is disappointingly quiet. There are many discussions of failed malaria programs, but few examples of effective programs that could be repeated or adapted by poor governments in developing countries. This book had some useful information, and it wasn't a total waste of time, but I'd only recommend it to someone desperate to gain a bit of background on malaria and willing to plow through a lot of tedium to gain that basic background.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Sankey

    Packard, who got malaria himself while a public health worker in Uganda, examines the spread of the disease along with the earliest human agricultural settlement, its historically deleterious effects on the Roman Empire, construction of the Panama and Suez canals and the settlement of the Chesapeake, as well as the Cold War tinged efforts at eradication through the Marshall Plan and other foreign aid. The big lesson, however, is that malaria requires strong public health infrastructure and signi Packard, who got malaria himself while a public health worker in Uganda, examines the spread of the disease along with the earliest human agricultural settlement, its historically deleterious effects on the Roman Empire, construction of the Panama and Suez canals and the settlement of the Chesapeake, as well as the Cold War tinged efforts at eradication through the Marshall Plan and other foreign aid. The big lesson, however, is that malaria requires strong public health infrastructure and significant and consistent government commitment lest haphazard treatment and bad control of swamps and deforestation create drug resistant strains.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeffcolli

    Highly recommended for anyone interested learning more about how malaria has both appeared and disappeared from different geographic areas. For those who think that eliminating the parasite is simply a question of spraying mosquitoes, putting up bed nets, and distributing medication, this historical perspective will be enlightening. This should be mandatory reading for every scientist and health care worker dealing with malaria. As with many history books, the writing is a bit dry, but the infor Highly recommended for anyone interested learning more about how malaria has both appeared and disappeared from different geographic areas. For those who think that eliminating the parasite is simply a question of spraying mosquitoes, putting up bed nets, and distributing medication, this historical perspective will be enlightening. This should be mandatory reading for every scientist and health care worker dealing with malaria. As with many history books, the writing is a bit dry, but the information contained is quite interesting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Farabaugh

    This book was very factual and detailed and presented a compelling case for the link between poverty and malaria. It is also unfortunately somewhat redundant and repeptative.The author uses too many examples to make the same arguement over and over again. I may not be the correct audience for this book. He may have been writing for more scientific readers and that may have lessened the appeal of the book for me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Kosar

    n 1881, the eminent Philadelphia publishing house Presley Blakiston began selling Joseph F. Edwards's Malaria: What It Means and How Avoided. In it, Edwards, an M.D. and author of other useful monographs, such as Constipation Plainly Treated and Relieved Without the Use of Drugs...(read more) n 1881, the eminent Philadelphia publishing house Presley Blakiston began selling Joseph F. Edwards's Malaria: What It Means and How Avoided. In it, Edwards, an M.D. and author of other useful monographs, such as Constipation Plainly Treated and Relieved Without the Use of Drugs...(read more)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chau

    Another beauty from Randall Packard, smart man, smart work.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mariana

    Malaria has become a poor people's disease. Officials don't realize that one can diminish Malaria but not eliminate it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cecily Gutierrez

  15. 4 out of 5

    Margaux

  16. 4 out of 5

    Loobird

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paolo Cardinali

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marc

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gwenyth

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard Sharp

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andres

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Ruiz

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura Couilwith

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kduncan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elspeth Nolen

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bobby_G

  30. 5 out of 5

    David

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.