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Malaria control, land occupation and scientific developments in Vietnam in the XXth century

Abstract : During European colonization malaria control was an important economic challenge; it had a strategical dimension during the conquest and, later on, during the independence wars. But, even long before the XIXth century, malaria was a main factor in the struggle for land occupation. It is remarkably illustrated by the land distribution among the different human groups in Vietnam, before French colonization. To this land distribution were linked the popular beliefs about the disease etiology among the dominant group, i.e Viet or Kinh.
In the XIXth century, Europeans considered the whole Indochina, like most of other tropical countries, as a land propitious for the malarial fevers. This view is strengthened by hospital statistics which, from the outset of the XXth century, rank malaria as the first cause of morbidity among the natives, and is in agreement with the prophylactic measures: wide-range distribution of State quinine. However, the first epidemiological data, produced by the health services of colonial troops, had emphasized the specific distribution of endemic areas which was only more systematically explored since the end of the 1920's. By that time, Pastorians set up a service for "scientific malaria control". Since the Indochina war, changes have taken place not only in regard to stakes involved, but also with respect to the actors, Vietnamese or Westerners, implicated in the malaria control.
Beyond a more universal history of the malaria control during the XXth century, this paper endeavours to bring out the particularities of malaria history in Vietnam, the contributions of local knowledge and technics in the evolution of measures as well as the structure of relationships among the different local communities.
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Contributor : Annick Guénel <>
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Annick Guénel. Malaria control, land occupation and scientific developments in Vietnam in the XXth century. 1999. ⟨halshs-00137031⟩

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