Books

The limits of medical heroism: reflections on Getting to Zero

Getting to Zero: A Doctor and a Diplomat on the Ebola Frontline

By Sinead Walsh and Oliver Johnson

Zed Books, 2018. 352 pages.

It is midnight and my five-month-old son, who has been sick with diarrhea for two days, is finally breathing evenly beside me. I should be sleeping. Instead, I am fretting, turning over  the intimate logics of medical responses to …

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Book Forum: Crystal (Cal) Biruk’s Cooking Data, Ramah McKay’s Medicine in the Meantime, and Noémi Tousignant’s Edges of Exposure

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In this book forum, we review three ethnographies of critical global health – Crystal (Cal) Biruk’s Cooking Data, Ramah McKay’s Medicine in the Meantime, and Noémi Tousignant’s Edges of Exposure – and ask the authors to reflect on the nature of labor, the public-private, and race in critical global health, as well as the future of the field. …

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Book Forum: Saida Hodžić’s The Twilight of Cutting: African Activism and Life After NGOs

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Saida Hodžić’s The Twilight of Cutting: African Activism and Life after NGOs (University of California Press, 2017) illuminates the myriad state and non-state actors collaborating on campaigns against “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM) in Ghana, where genital cutting was already on the decline. From a uniquely multi-scalar perspective, Hodžić reveals how cutting emerged as a problem to be shared by African …

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Integration

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In one of several letters he wrote to me during my fieldwork, Serge addressed what he considered to be the problems of integration for disabled people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Writing this letter in November 2013, he reflected on the upcoming International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the 3rdof December. “Across the world,” he wrote, …

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Ebola Afterlives

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Image by Eva Vernooij

Adiatu[1], a young Sierra Leonean laboratory scientist, turns on the light in the high risk room of the molecular unit of the recently renovated laboratory in Sierra Leone’s largest governmental hospital. The sterile, all-white laboratory space is filled with high-end equipment for the detection of Ebola virus. The biosafety cabinets, -80°C freezers, hotplates and …

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Competence for Citizenship

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White ants are a delicacy in the subregion Acholi in northern Uganda. Since fresh ones are available only once a year when they become flying roamers, one 100-kg sack of ants can bring in as much money as a teacher in a public school earns within two months. Patrick was thrilled to be able