Chapter

War against nature: malaria in Salonika, East Africa, and the Middle East

Mark Harrison

in The Medical War

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199575824
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595158 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575824.003.0007
War against nature: malaria in Salonika, East Africa, and the Middle East

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Of all the diseases encountered by the British army during the war, malaria was the most serious in terms of the drain on manpower. In Salonika, East Africa, and the Middle East, the army found itself in areas in which malaria was endemic or epidemic, and suffered heavy casualties among troops, labourers and carriers. The prevention of malaria was complicated by differences of opinion over how best to combat the disease, which were played out in the course of the First World War. However, the very different attitudes of commanders to the problem also affected their ability to prevent malaria casualties. This chapter looks at a hitherto neglected aspect of the malaria problem: the large number of men who returned from the war as psychiatric cases who were temporarily admitted to asylums for the insane.

Keywords: African Carrier Corps; commanders; disease; disease prevention; East Africa; malaria; Middle East; psychiatric cases; Salonika

Chapter.  16543 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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