ANNIVERSARIES and celebrations of medical discoveries have little except historical interest unless they have some direct bearing on present problems. In the case of malaria they have. Fifty years ago, medical men and sanitarians were given a new tool in the form of knowledge of the means of transmission of malaria from man to man. This Was heralded as the immediate forerunner of a recession of malaria throughout the world. Forty years experience left these hopes unfulfilled, the new knowledge being applied on a relatively small scale and mainly to highly specialized communities such as towns, labour forces and armies, which are, of course, unrepresentative of the mass of rural tropical peoples. The last ten years work, which is now being brought together and appreciated, shows that there is no longer any reason why the original aim should not be rapidly achieved if the importance, and the limitations, of recent discoveries are fully realized by medical men, administrators, and others concerned in the health of the tropics. A restatement of past history, an emphasis on the lessons to be learnt from it, and a summary of present knowledge based on an appropriate occasion such as the fiftieth anniversary of Ronald Ross‘s discovery is therefore considerably more than a sentimental occasion. The Ross Institute of Tropical Hygiene, which is amalgamated with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has attempted this survey and assessment in the form of an exhibition open to the public throughout the past week.
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SSRN Electronic Journal (2016)