Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 468-469
Special characters in famous poem: Public health implication from literature analysis

Faculty of Medicine, University of Nis, Nis, Serbia; Surin Rajabhat University, Surin, Thailand

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Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2017

How to cite this article:
Wiwanitkit V. Special characters in famous poem: Public health implication from literature analysis. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:468-9

How to cite this URL:
Wiwanitkit V. Special characters in famous poem: Public health implication from literature analysis. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Jun 4];10:468-9. Available from:
Dear Sir,

The illness of the local people is the basic clinical finding of human beings. In the past, many diseases might be unknown and common diseases might be recorded. An interesting record is the existence of the disease characteristics in the ancient literature. The medical analysis of the literature can be helpful in interpretation of the public health problem in each setting. Here, the author presented important interpretation of some important public health problems in Asia reflecting and seen in the special characters in some famous Asian poem. The first case is “Mandodari,” who is the wife of Ravana in Ramayana, the famous poem originated from India. This character has special characteristic of white face. This might imply the problem of pale face due to anemia which might be the common problem among Asian females for thousand years. In fact, as noted by Anand et al., “Iron deficiency anemia continues to be major public health problem in India”[1] and “it is estimated that about 20% of maternal deaths are directly related to anemia and another 50% of maternal deaths are associated with it.”[1] The second case is “Sang Thong,” who is the main character in Sang Thong poem, an ancient Southeast Asian poem. Sang Thong has special character of yellowish body, look like golden body. This can also reflect the high prevalence of jaundice among the local people in Southeast Asia. In fact, hemoglobinopathies, thalassemia, hepatitis as well as cholangiocarcinoma are common in Southeast Asia and can be the cause of jaundice.[2],[3] The third case is “Guandu,” who is the main character in ancient Chinese poem, “Three Kingdoms .” Guandu has special characteristic of red face. This can reflect the high prevalence of polycythemia among the Chinese. Chim et al. noted that polycythemia among Chinese is “a relatively benign disease with a low risk of thrombosis.”[4] Based on the given case examples, it is no doubt that medical analysis of local literature can give useful information on local public health problem and it can be the useful study in public health and medical humanities.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Anand T, Rahi M, Sharma P, Ingle GK. Issues in prevention of iron deficiency anemia in India. Nutrition 2014;30:764-70.  Back to cited text no. 1
Ho NK. Neonatal jaundice in Asia. Baillieres Clin Haematol 1992;5:131-42.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kaewpitoon N, Kaewpitoon SJ, Pengsaa P. Opisthorchiasis in Thailand: Review and current status. World J Gastroenterol 2008;14:2297-302.  Back to cited text no. 3
Chim CS, Kwong YL, Chan PT, Liang R. Polycythemia vera in Chinese patients: Thirty-six years of experience. Am J Hematol 1997;56:59-62.  Back to cited text no. 4

Correspondence Address:
Viroj Wiwanitkit
Wiwanitkit House, Bangkhae, Bangkok, 10160, Thailand

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.208689

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