Rockefeller Archive Center

Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports are created by recipients of research travel stipends and by many others who have conducted research at the RAC. The reports demonstrate the breadth of the RAC's archival holdings, particularly in the study of philanthropy and its effects. Read more about the history of philanthropy at Also, see the RAC Bibliography of Scholarship, a comprehensive online database of publications citing RAC archival collections.
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From a Clinical to a Public Health Problem: The Control of Tuberculosis in Jamaica, c. 1918-1982

January 1, 2013

Since the publication of Randal Packard's White Plague, Black Labor in 1989 which examined the control of tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa, the focus of the historical scholarship on TB has gradually moved away from Europe and North America. While much work has been done in recent years on the history of TB in Latin America, the control and treatment of the disease in the British Caribbean has thus far been largely neglected. In July 2012, funded by a grant from the University of York's Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, I undertook a pilot project on TB in the British Caribbean from the early twentieth century until the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s that focused on three parts of the region that differed considerably in terms of size, economy and racial make-up: Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad. I spent a week on each island, visiting their national archives and libraries and also examining papers relating to TB in the Caribbean in the National Archives and the Wellcome Library in London and in the WHO archives in Geneva.

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