Features

Africa and the Epidemiological Imagination

In early September we hosted a workshop on Africa and the Epidemiological Imagination at University College London’s Institute of Advanced Studies’ Common Ground. The workshop was sponsored by the Wellcome Trust as part of a Senior Investigator award held by Professor Megan Vaughan on Critical Histories of Chronic Disease in Africa. We wanted to explore how the concept “transition” articulates …

Features

Thinking with spirits

During my first visit to Ghana in 1998, I was involved in a research project that looked at possible co-operations between healers and psychiatric clinics. I stayed in the healing camp of Prophet Abbam II, who was known in the area to heal patients with mental health problems. My presence at his healing church attracted many visitors, who kindly brought …

Books

Ramah McKay’s Medicine in the Meantime: The Work of Care in Mozambique

Medicine in the Meantime: The Work of Care in Mozambique

Ramah McKay

Duke University Press, 2018, 256 pages

 

The study of medical humanitarianism has grown tremendously in the last decade. Notable work has analyzed the debated ethical practice of Médecins sans Frontières (Redfield 2013), state uses of illness diagnosis as a pathway to citizenship (Ticktin 2010) and the way …

Features

The Power and Precarity of Global Health Partnerships

A recent issue of Medicine Anthropology Theory devoted to the critique of global health partnerships (GHPs) raises a question of great significance to many Somatosphere readers: ‘In real world partnerships… after proposed innovations are tested, community health workers are trained, or an intervention has been piloted, what happens next?’ (Okeke 2018, 10). All too often, the answer is ‘little if …

Features

Diagnosis where? Testing Pigs and Humans for T. solium cysticercosis in Uganda

This article is part of the series:

Taenia solium is a zoonotic disease shared between humans and pigs. Humans become infected with T. solium, also known as the pork tapeworm, when they consume undercooked pork infected with porcine cysticercosis. Human cysticercosis develops when humans ingest T. solium eggs. If cysterici travel to the human brain this leads to neurocysticercosis, a leading cause of onset epilepsy in endemic …

Features

Humanitarian diagnostics for sleeping sickness in Uganda

This article is part of the series:

A key impetus for the invention of a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for sleeping sickness (also known as human African trypanosomiasis or HAT) was the persuasive advocacy for better ‘field ready tools’ by medical humanitarian agencies such as Médecins Sans Frontières. They were engaged in fighting outbreaks of this disease, which is fatal if untreated, in contexts of weakened health …