Blog: Hookworm infection as a silent disaster in late colonial Suriname

Blog by Rosemarijn Hoefte in the THE UWI, PUBLIC HEALTH & SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION: Disease and Epidemics in Caribbean Societies Blog Series.

Tiny worms causing silent and insidious damage. In 1915 the Rockefeller Foundation brought its campaign to eradicate hookworms to Suriname. Tests found that more than 90 percent of the population on plantations, mostly indentured Javanese migrants, were infected. But the American foundation, then the world’s largest public health organization, found many obstacles in its way to treat “woronsiekie” as it was called locally.

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Image: Javanese immigrants in depot in Paramaribo, 1923. Courtesy of KITLV.

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