Public Health Problems of the Southern Countries

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At the American Medical Association meeting in Atlantic City in June, 1919, Dr. Juan Guiteras of Havana presented a paper with this title, on which it was my privilege to open the discussion. I was impressed with the clearness with which Dr. Guiteras pointed out the vital differences between the work of the medical man in temperate climates, as compared with his work in the tropics. Manson in the introduction to his work on “Tropical Diseases” well states the title he chose was one more convenient than accurate. When, on the request of your President, I began the preparation of this present paper, it struck me that the title used by Dr. Guiteras was a most convenient one.

While this paper will deal almost entirely with my experiences as Chief of the Public Health Service of the Republic of Haiti during the years 1917-18-19-20, it is my aim to point out the desirability of cooperation between the medical profession and the health authorities, if rapid progress is to be made.