"Seeds That May Have Been Planted May Take Root": International Aid Nurses and Projects of Professionalism in Postindependence India, 1947-65

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"Seeds That May Have Been Planted May Take Root": International Aid Nurses and Projects of Professionalism in Postindependence India, 1947-65 Powered By Docstoc
					“Seeds That May Have Been Planted May
Take Root”: International Aid Nurses
and Projects of Professionalism in
Postindependence India, 1947–65

Madelaine Healey
La Trobe University




Upon the creation of an independent India in 1947, a cadre of international
nurse advisors was dispatched to the new state, bringing with them ambi-
tious plans for remaking the local profession.1 These women, among the most
highly qualified nurses in the world, were backed by the considerable wealth
of international governmental organizations and nongovernmental organiza-
tions (NGOs), including the Rockefeller Foundation, United States Agency
for International Development (USAID), and World Health Organization
(WHO). Their nursing programs attempted to institutionalize the values
and infrastructure of the nurse professionalism that had evolved in early-
twentieth-century North America. They pursued these aims in three main
ways—support for university-based nursing programs, en
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Upon the creation of an independent India in 1947, a cadre of international nurse advisors was dispatched to the new state, bringing with them ambitious plans for remaking the local profession.1 These women, among the most highly qualified nurses in the world, were backed by the considerable wealth of international governmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including the Rockefeller Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and World Health Organization (WHO). David Arnold suggests that from this period onward there was an attempt to provide a public health and hospital system that catered to Indian as well as European health needs, although Radhika Ramasubban has asserted the ongoing lack of state interest in Indian needs.3 Mridula Ramanna's account of medicine in mid- to late-nineteenth-century Bombay highlights the strong role of the increasingly numerous and assertive Indian medical profession there, and its philanthropic role in funding hospitals and dispensaries.4 The Dufferin Fund, a privately supported philanthropic organization established in 1885 by the vicereine, Lady Dufferin, was designed to provide hospitals for women and children and to train Indian women doctors and nurses.
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