A Medical Laboratory

in Africa as a Living Laboratory

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226803463
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226803487 | DOI:
A Medical Laboratory

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  • Colonialism and Imperialism


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This chapter considers research into infectious diseases; its intersections with research into nutrition and rural health care, often labeled horizontal concerns; and the so-called vertical interests of colonial states. It takes into account interactions among territorial, imperial, and international policy making and practice simultaneously, specifically addressing the predominance of biomedical fieldwork in British Africa. The idea of the elimination of diseases can be drawn back at least to 1801. The relative weakness of colonial states produced the conditions for new kinds of epistemological entanglements. Moreover, the chapter analyzes African trypanosomiasis. The model of health care provision and biomedical research articulated by the medical services and reiterated in the pages of Science in Africa, and to a lesser extent in An African Survey, was a practical effort to consider the myriad health problems influencing Africans' lives.

Keywords: infectious diseases; nutrition; health care; British Africa; colonial states; African trypanosomiasis

Chapter.  19718 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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