Jamaica Advancing: The Rockefeller Tuberculosis Commission and the Tensions Between Research and Eradication

by Jill Briggs

Jan 1, 2010
The Rockefeller Foundation's International Health Board (IHB) first arrived in Jamaica in 1918 as part of an expansion of its work on hookworm in the American South, the British Caribbean and Central America. Using the methods perfected in British Guiana, Trinidad and Costa Rica of survey, education and mass treatment, known as the "American" or "Intensive Method", the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) was able to gain the support of both the colonial and local governments in Jamaica. It soon expanded its work into many other fields of public health and education. By 1928 International Health Division, under the direction of Dr. Benjamin Washburn, had created the Hookworm and Malaria Commissions, established a training school for sanitary inspectors, organized local health boards in each parish with trained medical personnel and instituted programs of nutrition and dental care in local schools. In addition the Bureau of Health Education, under the direction of Washburn, published the popular Public Health Bulletin to spread the message of sanitation to the masses.
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