History of Tropical Medicine


After this unit, students should be able to:
1. Recognize the importance of the history of tropic al medicine for their understanding in a global interdisciplinary perspective.
2. Reflect about the process of emergence of tropical medicine as an independently field of knowledge, in the late nineteenth century.
3. Understand the several aspects of the history of tropical medicine in different scenarios: metropolitan areas, African and Asian colonies and different American social formations.
4. Evaluate the impact on public health measures of new know ledge about the etiology or means of transmission of various diseases related to bacteria, protozoa, helminths, fungi and viruses.
5. Reflect on the route and characteristics of tropical medicine Portuguese within their institutions since 1902.
6. Read critically and contextually the papers selected for the historiography of tropical medicine.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Amaral


Weekly - Se a UC for oferecida como opcional, o horário será disponibilizado no 2º semestre

Total - 28

Teaching language



Attendance of 2/3 of classes is mandatory


• ABRANCHES, P. O Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical: um século de história 1902-2002. Lisboa: IHMT, 2004.
• ARNOLD, D. (ed.). Warm climates and western medicine: the emergence of Tropical Medicine, 1500-1900. Amsterdam/Atlanta: Rodopi, 1996.
• BENCHIMOL, J. and SÁ, M. R. (eds and orgs). Adolpho Lutz Obra Completa. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz, vol. 2, n.3, 2006.
• DIOGO, P. e AMARAL, I. A outra face do império – ciência, tecnologia e medicina (sécs. XIX e XX). Lisboa: Edições Colibri, 2012.
• HOCHMAN, G.; ARMUS, D. (orgs.). Cuidar, controlar, curar: ensaios históricos sobre saúde e doença na América Latina e Caribe. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz, 2004.
• KROPF, S. Doença de Chagas, doença do Brasil: ciência, saúde e nação (1909-1962). Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz, 2009.
• LÖWY, I. Vírus, mosquitos e modernidade. A febre amarela no Brasil entre ciência e política. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz, 2006.

Teaching method

Seminars, Lectures, group project and tutorial assistance (b-learning).

Evaluation method

The final evaluation of the student will have two components:
1. Presentation of a scientific paper – it will be evaluated specific ally the ability of understanding, research, synthesis, communication and critical reflection. Represent 40% of the final grade.
2. Elaboration of a final investigation about one of the themes presented during the seminars, which represent 60% of the final grade.

Subject matter

I. Perspectives on the tropics.
II. Medicine in European and US colonization projects.
III. The medicine of "hot climates" to Mansonian medicine. The bacteriological era in the history of tropical medicine.
IV. Emergence and institutionalization of tropical medicine.
V. The peculiarity of the Portuguese case: from the School of Tropical Medicine of Lisbon at the Inst. of Hygiene and Trop. Medicine.
VI. The peculiarity of the Brazilian case: from the Bahian Tropicalist School at the actual Brazilian institutes and schools.
VII. Sleeping Sickness/Chagas Disease and another trypanosomiasis. The consolidation of medical entomology.
VIII. Malaria: etiology and mode of transmission, prophylactic and therapeutic strategies.
IX. Yellow Fever: mosquitoes, viruses and modernity.
X. Leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis: historical frameworks.
XI. Tropical medicine and international public health.
XII. Tropical medicine, ecology and environment.
XIII. Material culture and historical heritage in tropical medicine.


Programs where the course is taught: