Life rivers in their flow to the sea, medicine is influenced by many forces-science and art, facts and fiction, natural disasters and armed conflicts, economics and culture, the vagaries of climate, and the usual perverse dictates of domestic and international politics. Yet the deep steady current of clinical medicine has always been-and will ever be-based on diagnosing, treating and, sometimes, even preventing illnesses that cause such inordinate and, often unnecessary, suffering and death. This textbook presents the essential details, and perspective, to understand and deal with the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the vast, complex, often frustrating and humbling tropical areas of the world.The history of tropical medicine is as dramatic as the story of mankind-with its own myths and legends, with tales of epidemics destroying whole civilizations and, still today, with silent stealth, tropical diseases claim more lives than all the current wars combined. We, who have had the privilege of working throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as in the great medical centers of Europe and the United States, share with you, our colleagues and students, these lessons of our lifetimes.
Kevin M. Cahill, M.D., is University Professor and Director of Fordham University's Institute for International Humanitarian Affairs and President of The Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation in New York City. He has also served as Chief Adviser for Humanitarian and Public Health issues for successive Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly.
Herbert Gilles, M.D., C.M.G. is Professor Emeritus of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and past President of The Royal Scoiety of Tropical Medicine.