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The Colonial Disease

The Colonial Disease
A Social History of Sleeping Sickness in Northern Zaire, 1900–1940

$67.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine

  • Date Published: June 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521524520

$ 67.00 (C)
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  • The Belgians commonly referred to their colonisation of the Congo as a 'civilising mission', and many regarded the introduction of western bio-medicine as a central feature of their 'gift' to Africans. By 1930, however, it was clear that some features of their 'civilising mission' were in fact closely connected to the poor health of many of the Congolese. The Europeans had indeed brought scientific enquiry and western bio-medicine; but they had also introduced a harsh, repressive political system which, coupled with a ruthlessly exploitative economic system, led to the introduction of new diseases while already-existing diseases were exacerbated and spread. Tropical, or 'colonial', medicine was a new field at the turn of the century, linked closely both to European expansionism and human trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness. In 1901 a devastating epidemic had erupted in Uganda, killing well over 250,000 people.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521524520
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 149 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.566kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of maps
    List of plates
    List of tables
    Preface
    List of abbreviations
    1. Disease and medicine in the history of Africa
    2. From private empire to public colony
    3. Mise en valeur: economic exploitation
    4. Epidemiology and ecology of human sleeping sickness
    5. 'The lure of the exotic': sleeping sickness, tropical medicine and imperialism
    6. Discovery: Liverpool scientists in the Congo
    7. The campaign, part one: sleeping sickness and social medicine
    8. The campaign, part two: the surveys and tensions
    9. The African response
    10. Public health, social engineering and African lives
    11. Conclusion and legacy
    Appendices
    Notes
    Select Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Maryinez Lyons, University of London

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