Features

Diagnosing Failure: The Post-Hoc Report as an Administrative Epilogue

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The World Health Organization recently released its long-awaited final report on the organization’s response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic. The report opens by explaining that, however tragic the epidemic was, it also provides us with a chance to learn. “The sole consolation of the Ebola disaster is that it has galvanised the world into analyzing the failures and ensuring that …

Features

Awakenings

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Tuberculosis is curable.

TB is curable posters

Figure 1: Propaganda materials rehearsing the curability of tuberculosis are produced by a variety of institutional actors across India. From left to right: poster from Christian Medical College, Vellore (accessed via US National Library of Medicine); logo from Government of India’s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP); and poster from a series developed by the Indian Development

Features

Manufacturing neglect: What happens to drugs once the epidemic has passed?

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We like to think that drugs help put an end to disease, although in the aggregate this is seldom the case. However many individual infections and infestations might have been cured by timely doses of antibiotics, antifungals, antiparasitics, or antivirals, very few diseases have been eradicated because of biomedical therapeutics. Yaws, a chronic treponemal disease now limited to 14 countries …

Features

After the End of Disease: Rethinking the Epidemic Narrative

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In conversations with people living with polio in Hungary, I often encountered members of the tight-knit community referring to themselves as “dinosaurs”. We are a breed that is about to die out, they said. Nobody gets polio anymore, some added, and they were right – epidemics, even sporadic wild polio cases disappeared from the country in the 1960s. Their words …