The Institute Medical Research (IMR) started in the 1900s by Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham, the Resident-General regarding the Federated Malay States. It was set up for Pathological issues in Malaya from a scientific angle.
The first case of malaria was reported in Penang in 1805.
Beri-beri and malaria fevers have taken many lives in Kuala Lumpur and Malaya in general. This proposal was done according to the resolution of the Berlin Conference “to give moral and welfare for the local population and to explore issues of tropical medicine”.
At the same time French, Dutch, English were establishing control in their colonial places. The Pathological Institute in British Malaya was born around the time London School for Tropical Medicine was established in 1899 and Liverpool School concerning Tropical Medicine.
Kuala Lumpur was selected because it is the center of the Malay Peninsula. The research is for Infectious and contagious diseases mainly tropical diseases eg. beri-beri and malaria, dysentery, smallpox, cholera, plague, rabies, etc.
Dr. Hamilton Wright, a pathologist at the London School of Tropical Medicine, was the first director of the Institute. In the first year of establishment ie 1900, Dr. Wright spent time planning and perfecting the institute until it was completed on the opening and later in August of 1901 the institute was named Institute for Medical Research from Pathological Institute.
1901 – 1905:Malarial study of taxonomy and vector biology was done by Daniels and Leicester and control of malarial by Watson. Beri-beri – its pathology and etiology was done by Fraser, Braddon & Stanton), and research of dysentery.
These are some of the reports made : Cholera in Rawang; Plague in Kuala Kubu Bharu; Rabies in Negeri Sembilan.
Nearly 400 years after its efficacy was first documented, quinine remains an essential anti-malarial medication.
The discovery of quinine is considered the most miraculous scientific discovery of the 17th century, and the first effective outcome of a chemical compound for the treatment of infectious diseases was the treatment of malaria with quinine. Quinine was used to combat malaria from as early as the 1600s, when it was attributed to as the “Jesuits’ bark,” “cardinal’s bark,” or “sacred bark.” as a component of the bark of the cinchona (quina-quina) tree. These names originate from its use in 1630 by Jesuit missionaries.
An Indian with a strong fever was lost in the Andean forest, according to this story. Thirsty, he consumed from collected water that tasted bitter. He felt he was harmed, realizing the water had been polluted by the nearby quina-quina trees. Thankfully, his fever quickly reduced, and this unintentional finding he shared with fellow farmers, who eventually used quina-quina bark extracts to treat fever.
Natural Quinine remains better
Until the 1920s, when more powerful pharmaceutical anti-malarials became available, Quinine remained the mainstay of malaria therapy. Chloroquine, which was used widely, was the most effective of these medicines, especially beginning in the 1940s. With heavy use, chloroquine resistance to it slowly came. By the late 1950s, resistance to chloroquine from Plasmodium falciparum was seen in parts of Southeast Asia and South America, and by the 1980s it was common in almost all areas with falciparum malaria. Quinine has again played a key role in growing resistance to chloroquine, especially in the treatment of extreme malaria. Quinine has continued to play an important role in malaria control to date.