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Colonial Interventions on Public Health and the Bifurcation of Puerto Rican Medicine

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Chapter Summary

Poverty and hunger were dominant themes in the early U.S. colonial administration's narratives about Puerto Ricans. In Puerto Rico, the U.S. colonial administration's values were mediated through a relationship that relied on local native labor, organized through insular and municipal governments, but consolidated order under U.S. colonial control. These values extended to a prominent member of the U.S. colonial administration, Bailey K. Ashford. This chapter explains how public health interventions differed between the colonial administration and the hookworm campaign. It begins with a discussion of the military administration's interventions on smallpox and sanitation to explain the limits in the colonial definition of public health. The chapter discusses the hookworm campaign's development to explain native physicians' interests in promoting public health. It concludes with a discussion of the bifurcation of public health work that corresponded with the development of U.S. medicine on the island.

Keywords: Bailey K. Ashford; colonial administration; hookworm campaign; public health

10.1163/9789004243712_004
/content/books/b9789004243712s004
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