Medical Care in the Belgian Congo

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Summary

Medical care in the Belgian Congo is provided chiefly by the government, supplemented by the work of the foreign missions and the medical departments of large industrial concerns. The government service resembles a military organization in structure and mode of operation. Native medical auxiliaries are trained by the government and by the missions and are employed to assist the white doctors and nurses.

The medical resources have been devoted primarily to the prevention of communicable diseases. A program of yearly mass surveys of the population has been evolved for the purpose of diagnosing and treating the carriers of certain diseases, notably trypanosomiasis. The population is being immunized against yellow fever. Eradication of insect vectors of disease is accomplished in limited areas of the colony where this is feasible.

Apart from humanitarian considerations, the conservation of native manpower is essential for the future development of the country. The medical program is part of the larger government policy of protecting, gradually educating and civilizing the natives of the Congo under a regime which has made this one of the model colonies in Africa.

Author Notes

Major, Medical Corps, United States Army.

Major, Medical Corps, United States Army.

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