Malaria heroes: Sir Rickard Christophers

From the Wellcome Trust
Image from the Wellcome Trust

This is the second post (first one) of my attempt at profiling different malaria workers. Not many have heard of the epidemiologist Rickard Christophers (1873 – 1978). I came across his work accidentally, which was fortunate, because his lessons hold great promise for our efforts today. Having worked in the Duars area of India (where Sir Rickard led a landmark two year malaria survey), his legacy and writings speak closely to me.

Some reasons why Sir Rickard is an all-star:

  • True malariologist – studied the host, vector, parasite, and social environment
  • Coined the concept of the ‘tropical aggregation of labour’
  • Fought for improved labor conditions of tea workers to reduce malaria
  • Chronicled the infamous malaria epidemic cycle of the Punjab
  • Founded the Malaria Reference Lab, later directed the Central Research Institute at Kausali (forerunner to the Malaria Institute of India, which became the National Institute for Communicable Diseases)
  • Worked past the age of 100

Some editorials about him:

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