Health policies were promoted by the British colonial state, in nineteenth century Bombay Presidency, with caution. The main constraints were the reluctance to intervene in established traditions and to make large scale financial commitments. However, private philanthropy played a role in supporting Western medicine by funding medical education and hospitals and dispensaries. Campaigns like smallpox vaccination and sanitary reform were pursued by activist health officials with the endorsement of Indian civic leaders, and met with some success in the urban areas, as recent studies have shown. The twentieth century saw a shift from curative to preventive approaches in colonial medical policy, and these proved to be more effective with the co-operation of voluntary non-governmental agencies. My current project aims to explore aspects of health care in the Bombay Presidency in the first three decades of the twentieth century
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