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Public Health and Private WealthStem Cells, Surrogates, and Other Strategic Bodies$
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Sarah Hodges and Mohan Rao

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463374

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463374.001.0001

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Colonial Poverty

Colonial Poverty

Nutrition, Disease, and the Problem of the Poor*

(p.19) 1 Colonial Poverty
Public Health and Private Wealth

David Arnold

Oxford University Press

Based on a careful consideration of official records and policy, this essay denaturalizes the connections between poverty and public health through a close examination of the career of poverty in official policy in India over the course of a century—from the 1850s to the 1950s. In so doing, the essay argues that whilst poverty was a recurring theme in India’s colonial governance and emergent public health regime, for a long time medical professionals failed to address it as a fundamental cause of ill-health and mortality, nor did they feel empowered to offer much by way of practical measures for its amelioration. Poverty was essentially seen as a background factor in the causation and incidence of disease or as the consequence of disease rather than one of its underlying causes.

Keywords:   colonialism, India, poverty, nutrition, public health, disease

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