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The Study on the Lives and Health Conditions of Internees in Santo Thomas Camp of Philippines - Based on McAnlis's The War in Manila (1941-1945).

Uisahak; 26(2): 265-314, 2017 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28919592
When Japan invaded the Philippines, two missionary dentists (Dr. McAnlis and Dr. Boots) who were forced to leave Korea were captured and interned in the Santo Thomas camp in Manila. Japan continued to bombard and plunder the Philippines in the wake of the Pacific War following the Great East Asia policy, leading to serious inflation and material deficiency. More than 4,000 Allied citizens held in Santo Thomas camp without basic food and shelter. Santo Thomas Camp was equipped with the systems of the Japanese military medical officers and Western doctors of captivity based on the Geneva Conventions(1929). However, it was an unsanitary environment in a dense space, so it could not prevent endemic diseases such as dysentery and dengue fever. With the expansion of the war in Japan, prisoners in the Shanghai and Philippine prisons were not provided with medicines, cures and food for healing diseases. In May 1944, the Japanese military ordered the prisoners to reduce their ration. The war starting in September 1944, internees received 1000 kcal of food per day, and since January 1945, they received less than 800 kcal of food. This was the lowest level of food rationing in Japan's civilian prison camps. They suffered beriberi from malnutrition, and other endemic diseases. An averaged 24 kg was lost by adult men due to food shortages, and 10 percent of the 390 deaths were directly attributable to starvation. The doctors demanded food increases. The Japanese Military forced the prisoner to worship the emperor and doctors not to record malnourishment as the cause of death. During the period, the prisoners suffered from psychosomatic symptoms such as headache, diarrhea, acute inflammation, excessive smoking, and alcoholism also occurred. Thus, the San Thomas camp had many difficulties in terms of nutrition, hygiene and medical care. The Japanese military had unethical and careless medical practices in the absence of medicines. Dr. McAnlis and missionary doctors handled a lot of patients focusing mainly on examination, emergency treatment and provided the medical services needed by Philippines and foreigners as well as prisoners. Through out the war in the Great East Asia, the prisoners of Santo Thomas camp died of disease and starvation due to inhumane Japanese Policy. Appropriate dietary prescriptions and nutritional supplements are areas of medical care that treat patients' malnutrition and disease. It is also necessary to continue research because it is a responsibility related to the professionalism and ethics of medical professionals to urge them to observe the Geneva Convention.