What is the British Army’s Contribution to Tropical Medicine?

Research Paper Title

The British Army’s contribution to tropical medicine.


Infectious disease has burdened European armies since the Crusades.

Beginning in the 18th century, therefore, the British Army has instituted novel methods for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of tropical diseases.

Many of the diseases that are humanity’s biggest killers were characterised by medical officers and the acceptance of germ theory heralded a golden era of discovery and development.

Luminaries of tropical medicine including Bruce, Wright, Leishman and Ross firmly established the British Army’s expertise in this area.

These innovations led to the prevention of many deaths of both military personnel and civilians. British Army doctors were instrumental in establishing many of the teaching facilities that we now consider to be global leaders in tropical medicine.

The impact of the Army in this field has certainly been significant in the past and its contribution continues to this day.


Heron, J.B.T. & Alexander, T.D.J. (2018) The British Army’s contribution to tropical medicine. Clinical Medicine (London, England). 18(5), pp.380-383. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.18-5-380.


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