Lectures

COVID-19 Forum: Introduction

This article is part of the series:

Since its emergence in December 2019, COVID-19 has led to a global pandemic, in everything but name. To date, over 100,000 people have been infected across the globe, with the vast majority of burden of the infection and of the 3,400 deaths so far being borne by China, where the disease originally emerged. There the epidemic has led to the …

Features

Politics by Other Means: Health in Việt Nam

My research in Việt Nam addresses how medicine, health, and disease function as political and cultural signifiers as well as telegraphing – in the form of epidemiological data and public health outcomes – important features of the socioeconomic order. While health and disease are highly politicized everywhere in the world, these issues take on intriguing significance in socialist and formerly …

Features

Breaking news! Big Shift in Biomediatization from “Swine Flu” to H3N2 to the Trump Administration’s Attack on Breastfeeding

The H3N2 epidemic didn’t really take off until early January 2018—at least as far as US media coverage is concerned. A crucial marker was the New York Times‘ publication of an op-ed by a prominent germ cold warrior, Michael Osterholm, along with Mark Olshaker, co-author of Deadliest Enemy: Our War against Killer Germs. Osterholm, extensively profiled by Andrew …

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 …

Books

Andrew Lakoff’s Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency

Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency

Andrew Lakoff

University of California Press, 2017. 240 pages.

 

Let us be frank: it is hard to think preparedness in the medical humanities without thinking of Andrew Lakoff. Over the ten years since the publication of his first piece on the subject (2007), Lakoff has developed, expanded and refined the critical …