During the years of 1896-1902, Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932) conducted a series of laboratory experiments in Calcutta and Secunderabad which determined that the anopheline mosquito carried the malaria parasite. For this discovery he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1902. Ross's significant headway towards a grave problem did much to aid in scientific research in British India, perhaps saving India from future calamities.
In October 1909, the Imperial Malaria Conference convened at Shimla. The Conference made recommendations which led to the establishment of a Central Malaria Committee to investigate the epidemiology of malaria. It also created a new Journal Paludism, in which malaria research findings were published.
After a series of fruitful scientific researches by Britishers in India, and with the turn of the century, even more exhaustive researches were to take place. In 1889, the Cantonment Act was passed with the intent to inspect, segregate and treat Indian prostitutes thought to be infected with venereal disease.
In 1894, the Indian Medical Congress convened for the first time in Calcutta. As a result of this conference, the Home Department of the Government of India created an Indigenous Drugs Committee to investigate the value and use of indigenous drugs.
Within the period of 1898-99, Almroth Edward Wright (1861-1947) of the Royal Army Medical College at Netley researched and developed an anti-typhoid vaccine which was tried on 4502 British soldiers in India with victorious results.
From the time of 5 May to 27 July 1903, Rogers conducted in London studies of the physiological impact of snake venoms. His work resulted in the development of the Brunton lancet which employed a process calling for the use of a ligature to prevent the spread of venom, an incision at the local of the snake bite and the rubbing for crystals of permanganate into the wound. This process did indeed come to much later use to cure a snake bite using anti-venomous measures. This precise scientific research by British scientists paved India to fight for more deadly diseases.
On 11 March 1905, Lord Ampthill (1869-1935) opened the King Institute of Preventive Medicine at Madras and in 1906 the Central Research Institute at Kasauli.
In 1906, the Asiatic Society of Bengal formed a Medical Section. This provided an important forum for the discussion of current medical research in India. Also in 1906 the Calcutta Medical Club formed to provide a place for medical dialogue.
In 1907, a vaccine Institute was established at Belgaum in the Bombay Presidency capable of producing 200,000 doses of smallpox vaccine a year.
Scientific researches under British India were by now a necessary thing for speedy recovery. With such intelligent men joining to make India almost infection-free, natives provided much to slowly turn to a positive side. In 1911, the first All-India Sanitary Conference was held in Bombay under the leadership of Sir Harcourt Butler (1869-1938), Education Member of the Viceroy's Council.
In the same year, Butler and Sir Charles Pardey Lukis (1857-1917), Surgeon-General, established the Indian Research Fund Association for the purpose of recruiting medical researchers and for carrying out research programmes. Its medical findings were to appear in the Indian Journal of Medical Research and the Indian Medical Research Memoirs.
In 1912, the Medical Registration Act was passed in Bombay Legislative Council. The Act established a Medical Council and a registration list of medical practitioners, who in future would list only those physicians allowed to hold appointments in hospitals or in government service. This measure served as an important predecessor to the 1933 All India Medical Council and its responsibility for the regulation of medical qualifications and training in Indian Medical Schools.
In March of the same year, Rogers successfully used emetine injections to cure amoebic dysentery. This was a smart move towards advanced scientific research by British in India.
Within the period of 1910-21, Rogers initiated planning for the established of the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine to institutionalise scientific medical research in India. It was modelled greatly on the schools of tropical medicine located in London and Liverpool. On February 24, 1914 Lord Carmichael (1859-1936) laid the school's foundation stone. The school began its operations in 1921.
In 1913, the Government of India accepted the fact that the incidence of tuberculosis was of sufficient magnitude. The government also acknowledged that it began to consider measures to guarantee the purity of milk.
In 1919, the Government of India transferred medical education, medical care and public health to the provincial governments under the terms of dyarchy. Here, it was placed under the guidance of an Indian Minister. One notable consequence embraced ministerial support for mass cholera and plague inoculation of Indians. In times when the Jalianwalabagh Amritsar massacre was at its peak and Indian nationalists were raging full-time war against English bastion, scientific researches suffered to a length. British men were no longer believed as gospel, Indians tried to better English people in every aspect and were successful. As such scientific researches under the shadow of British India presented a dichotomy.
In the period within 1920-21, the provincial governments of Bengal and Madras acquiesced to Indian demands to establish committees of inquiry to investigate the usefulness of indigenous medical systems. In October 1921 the Madras committee, chaired by Mohammad Usman, issued a report making a case for ayurveda, or Hindu medicine, except for the acceptance of Western surgery. In consequence, the Government of Madras opened a School of Indian Medicine, with G. Srinivasa Murti as its Director.
On 12 July 1923, the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association was founded in a meeting of supporters at the India Office. The new organisation named former Indian Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, as its President. The Association financed research, advised medical officers and missionaries and supplied drugs to India and throughout the British Empire.
In December 1932, the All-India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health opened in Calcutta with the aid of a 648,000-dollar grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
In October 1943, the Government of India created a committee headed by Sir Joseph William Bhore (1878-1960) to examine provisions for public health in India after the Second World War concluded. Its 1946 report criticised past British efforts in public health and medical research and called for more broadly available public health measures for the Indian people.
In 1945, Lieutenant-Colonel C. K. Lakshmann, Chairman of Industrial Health Advisory Committee, recommended the establishment of a system of medical inspections for Indian industries and mines.
|More Articles in Scientific Developments during British Regime (6)|