Transformation: The Story of Modern Puerto Rico

By Earl Parker Hanson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
Public Health

THERE IS A SCHOOL of thought which holds that tropical diseases impede successful development in the tropics-- and will always so impede it because it is more difficult to control illness in the tropics than in the middle latitudes. The uniform warm and humid climate, argue the adherents of that school, is ideal for the propagation of disease germs as well as of insects and other vectors which spread such germs. There may or may not be some grains of truth in what they say. Their philosophy is nevertheless vicious in that it is fatalistic and therefore defeatist. It is opposed and refuted by many public-health experts who actually work in the tropics.

It is nonsense, say the latter, to lay the blame for tropical illnessess on the natural climate when the man-made social and economic climate is so obviously bad in the tropics that health conditions must be bad to correspond. In the middle latitudes, in the countries which are economically developed, standards of living are sufficiently high so that malnutrition of the majority is not a health problem. The majority, moreover, takes an adequate sanitary environment so for granted that they ignore it and feel free to credit their supposedly superior natural climate for their grantedly superior health. They are surrounded by municipal, state, and national health organizations, alerted, equipped, and financed to deal im-

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Transformation: The Story of Modern Puerto Rico
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Right Shall Again Prevail v
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword xv
  • Chapter I - Transformation 1
  • Chapter II - The Colony 21
  • Chapter III - The Anguish of Colonialism 40
  • Chapter IV - Colonialism Bankrupt 61
  • Chapter V - Tragic Lunacy 77
  • Chapter VI - Growth of a Leader 94
  • Chapter VII - Lobbyist 116
  • Chapter VIII - Reconstruction 135
  • Chapter IX - Disintegration 152
  • Chapter X - 1940 172
  • Chapter XI - Tugwell 190
  • Chapter XIII - Neither Radical nor Conservative 227
  • Chapter XV - Power and Industry 266
  • Chapter XVI - The Tourist Industry 284
  • Chapter XVII - Public Health 300
  • Chapter XVIII - Education 317
  • Chapter XIX - Civic Employment 336
  • Chapter XX - Culture Changes and The Population Problem 351
  • Chapter XXI - Migration 366
  • Chapter XXII - Where Now? 382
  • Index 405
  • About the Author 417
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