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Tropical medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with health problems that occur uniquely, are more widespread, or prove more difficult to control in tropical and subtropical regions.

Many infections and infestations that are classified as "tropical diseases" used to be endemic in countries located in temperate or even cold areas. Examples of such diseaes include leprosy, cholera, malaria, polio, measles, hookworm infestation, and amoebiasis, among others. Many of these diseases have been controlled or even eliminated from developed countries, as a result of improvements in housing, diet, sanitation, and personal hygiene. Since climate is not the main reason why those infections remain endemic in tropical areas, there is a trend towards renaming this speciality as "Geographic Medicine".



The training in Tropical Medicine is quite different between countries. Most of the Tropical doctors design their own training. The Dutch system is unique in the world. The training consists of two clinical years (Obstetrics & Gynecology, Paediatrics or General Surgery) and a three months course at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam.

Recently, the government of Bangladesh established the Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases in the port city of Chittagong.


  • Jonathan Kaplan. The dressing station, a surgeon's oddysey. Picador, London, 2001.
  • Anne Spoerry. Mama Daktari. The house of books, Vianen, 2000.

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