Thursday, May 19, 2011

Operation of Inoculation of the Smallpox as Performed in Bengall

(From Ro Coult to Dr Oliver Coult in ‘An account of the dis­eases of Bengall’ (Calcutta, dated February 10, 1731))
বাংলার এক অঞ্চলে স্মলপক্সএর টিকে দেওয়ার বর্ণনা আমরা পেয়েছি, ধরমপালএর রচনা সংগ্রহের প্রথম খন্ড থেকে
Here follows one account of the operation of inoculation of the smallpox as performed here in Bengall taken from the concurring accounts of several Bhamans and physicians of this part of India
The operation of inoculation called by the natives tikah has been known in the kingdom of Bengall as near as I can learn, about 150 years and according to the Bhamanian records was first performed by one Dununtary, a physician of Champanager, a small town by the side of the Ganges about half way to Cossimbazar whose memory is now holden in great esteem as being thought the author of this operation, which secret, say they, he had immediately of God in a dream
Their method of performing this operation is by taking a little of the pus (when the smallpox are come to maturity and are of a good kind) and dipping these in the point of a pretty large sharp needle Therewith make severall punctures in the hollow under the deltoid muscle or sometimes in the forehead, after which they cover the part with a little paste made of boiled rice
When they want the operation of the inoculated matter to be quick they give the patient a small bolus made of a little of the pus, and boiled rice immediately after the operation which is repeated the two following days at noon
The place where the punctures were made commonly festures and comes to a small supporation, and if not the operation has no effect and the person is still liable to have the smallpox but on the contrary if the punctures do supporate and no feaver or erup­tion insues, then they are no longer subject to the infection
The punctures blacken and dry up with the other pustules
The feaver insues later or sooner, according to the age and strength of the person inoculated, but commonly the third or fourth days They keep the patient under the coolest regimen they can think off before the feaver comes on and frequently use cold bathing
If the eruption is suppressed they also use frequent cold bath­ing At the same time they give warm medicine inwardly, but if they prove of the confluent kind, they use no cold bathing, but (keep) the patient very cooll and give coolling medicine
I cannot say any thing of the success of this operation or of their method of cure in this disease, but I intend to inform myself perfectly when the time of this distemper returns which is in April and May 
(From Dharampal • Collected Writings, Volume I, Indian Science and Technology  in the Eighteenth Century)

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