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Hookworm and the Imaginery in Early Public Health Campaigns

Tuesday, 12th January (Week 11)
5.00 pm – Ramphal Building Room R.014
Prof Lenore Manderson (Monash)
Hookworm and the Imaginery in Early Public Health Campaigns
Leper asylum - Kuala Lumpur 18 Sept 1923
The hookworm campaigns conducted by the Rockefeller Foundation in the early twentieth century were among the earliest public health education campaigns that incorporate the fundamental principles of contemporary (twenty-first century) public health. The Foundation, and specifically the International Health Board (IHB), used intersectoral approaches, public/private partnerships, community involvement, local ownership, mixed media presented in culturally appropriate contexts, and the establishment of systems and structures to ensure sustainable behavioral change and disease control. The visionary nature of these campaigns, and the premises of its participants in relation to the epidemiology of the disease and the political economics of its control, make for extraordinary reading, and provide argument enough to revisit this historical moment. In this presentation, I explore the imagery by public health advocates such as Sawyer and his colleagues to promote to those in positions of authority at both local and national levels to encourage public health interventions that promised economic, social and aesthetic outcomes.

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