Tropical Medicine in the Armed Forces

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  • Army Medical Service Graduate School

In this presentation dealing with the Armed Forces' interest in tropical medicine, I must emphasize that the views presented are primarily those of the Army; however, the principles apply to the other services. The Armed Forces' interest in tropical medicine must always be primarily influenced by its actual or potential bearing on manpower, particularly during critical phases of military operations. The magnitude of such influence dictates the emphasis to be placed on the disease or other health factors concerned. For example, some of the Army's experience in World War II with some communicable diseases usually considered in the category of tropical disease is shown in table 1.

It can be seen that the dysenteries, particularly those bacterial in type, malaria, and virus hepatitis influenced manpower in a major way whereas diseases such as filariasis, schistosomiasis, and leishmaniasis were of very little significance.

What are the current military interests in tropical diseases?

Author Notes

Colonel, MC, USA.

Washington 12, D. C.