The Place of Tropical Medicine in International Health

Wilbur A. Sawyer Director of Health, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, Washington, D. C.

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The world crisis has already reached the stage at which plans are being laid for the future international organization to preserve peace and advance human welfare. The completed plans will undoubtedly give prominent place to provisions for effective collaboration between nations in promoting and protecting health, and will not overlook the outstanding problems of tropical medicine.

War, which might be regarded as a highly virulent infectious disease of society, is now in the final stages of its greatest pandemic. The best thought of our statesmen is being concentrated on future prevention. It is clearly recognized that to prevent war the causes of discontent and conflict must be diminished, while direct action will have to be made possible for application as a last resort. Likewise in the field of international health it is more important to remove conditions which give rise to disease, and to suppress it wherever it is first established, than to depend primarily on keeping pestilences from moving about after they have developed somewhere under neglect.

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