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Medicine and Colonialism in Sri Lanka

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It is generally accepted that Western medicine introduced by European colonizers and missionaries saved millions of lives in Africa, Asia, and the Americas (Comaroff and Comaroff, 1992). In this context, Western medicine represented a higher civilization and social order that lifted people to modern ways of life. David Livingstone, known for his religious zealotry, chose a medical career to heal the suffering of Africans: “In the glow of love which Christianity inspires, I soon resolved to devote my life to the alleviation of human misery… and therefore set myself to obtain a medical education, in order to be qualified for that enterprise” (Livingstone 1858; Moffat 1969). Medical missionaries believed that the eradication of fatal diseases among the indigenous people would encourage the “heathens” to embrace Christianity. Commenting on the effort to establish a public health department in India by the British colonial government in the mid‐nineteenth century, Florence Nightingale...

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Hewa, S. (2008). Medicine and Colonialism in Sri Lanka. In: Selin, H. (eds) Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8760

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