Save the Colonial Subjects! (But leave the Women and Fat Guys at Home.)
For years, Manson’s was the textbook on tropical disease. The 13th edition had some notions that we would now call, at best, quaint. It was, after all, 1951.
Preparations for Residence in the Tropics
In examining personnel with reference to their fitness for residence in the tropics, the age of the candidate is obviously important. He or she should have attained maximum development before going out. Those under 21—and this is especially true of women—withstand extreme heat and humidity badly, and appear, moreover to be more susceptible to tropical diseases. Women should be fully matured in mind as well as body and, as a rule, their age to be somewhat higher than that for men, which is from 23 to 25. It is a matter of observation that men over 40 find it difficult to accustom themselves to a intense heat, though exceptions will readily occur to the mind, such as Robert Koch, a pioneer in medical find, and Abel Chapman in zoology. Both had already passed 40 ere they set foot in central Africa, and both found themselves equal to its exacting demands.
While there can be no absolute standard of height and weight, the deviation from the generally accepted averages should not be great. As a rule, spareness is more desirable than plumpness. Certainly the tropics is no place for the fat man. The “lanky,” spare type is best suited to tropical conditions, and the dark-hair, brown-eyed and dark- complexioned is generally considered more fitted than the blue-eyed, fair-haired, tender skin “Nordic” or “Aryan” type.