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Medicine, Mobility, and Power in Global Africa

Transnational Health and Healing

Edited by Hansjörg Dilger, Abdoulaye Kane, and Stacey A. Langwick

Publication Year: 2012

Recent political, social, and economic changes in Africa have provoked radical shifts in the landscape of health and healthcare. Medicine, Mobility, and Power in Global Africa captures the multiple dynamics of a globalized world and its impact on medicine, health, and the delivery of healthcare in Africa--and beyond. Essays by an international group of contributors take on intractable problems such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and insufficient access to healthcare, drugs, resources, hospitals, and technologies. The movements of people and resources described here expose the growing challenges of poverty and public health, but they also show how new opportunities have been created for transforming healthcare and promoting care and healing.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii

This book is a product of the intellectual excitement the three of us shared together as faculty in a vibrant and dynamic Center for African Studies at the University of Florida in the early 2000s. In 2006, with the support of the University of Florida we organized...

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Introduction: Transnational Medicine, Mobile Experts

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pp. 1-27

Ethnographic and historical work on healing and medicine in Africa reveals a great deal about politics and power; social organization and economic conditions; global regimes of value and local practices of valuing bodies, kin, and community. Medicine is significant...

Part 1. Scale as an Effect of Power

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1. The Choreography of Global Subjection: The Traditional Birth Attendant in Contemporary Configurations of World Health

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pp. 31-59

This chapter is about how transnational collaborations elicit a global subject. It takes the Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) as the site for unraveling the movements critical to an African globality. The TBA, as it was forged in the health crises of the second half...

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2. Targeting the Empowered Individual: Transnational Policy Making, the Global Economy of Aid, and the Limitations of Biopower in Tanzania

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pp. 60-91

In October 2001, Amelia Jacob from Tanzania was among the four awardees of the prestigious Africa Prize for Leadership, an award presented on an annual to biannual basis to outstanding African leaders whose “accomplishments have improved the lives of tens of millions...

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3. Health Security on the Move: Biobureaucracy, Solidarity, and the Transfer of Health Insurance to Senegal

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pp. 92-114

“Ce n’est pas facile!” Mr. Dembele shook his head. He was trying to understand the difference between budget and capital, as well as between budget and money. Understanding this was necessary to evaluate the financial viability of his mutual health organization in one...

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4. Afri-global Medicine: New Perspectives on Epidemics, Drugs, Wars, Migrations, and Healing Rituals

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pp. 115-137

The three case studies that make up this chapter illustrate what I call “Afri-global medicine.” By this I mean: on the one hand, situations in which sickness and healing in an African setting are affected, addressed, or handled by wider global forces or agencies; or, on the...

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5. AIDS Policies for Markets and Warriors: Dispossession, Capital, and Pharmaceuticals in Nigeria

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pp. 138-159

Most of the literature on globalization that theorizes flexible capital, flows (media, migration, technology), global cities, cosmopolitanism, and local–global relationships proceeds from an analysis of finance and manufacturing capital. Such paradigms account for accumulation...

Part 2. Alternative Forms of Globality

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6. Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Mali and Togo: Circulating Knowledge, Mobile Technology, Transnational Efforts

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pp. 163-189

Aissetou (43), an academically trained Malian, was working for an NGO and was economically independent. She married Moustaffa (45) in 1999. Although both had already had children with other partners, Aissetou and Moustaffa were seeking to have children...

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7. Flows of Medicine, Healers, Health Professionals, and Patients between Home and Host Countries

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pp. 190-212

This chapter examines the flows of medicine and health care services both biomedical and traditional between the villages of the Senegal River Valley and the Haalpulaar immigrant communities in France. Haalpulaar migrants in France are intervening in their home...

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8. Public Health or Public Threat? Polio Eradication Campaigns, Islamic Revival, and the Materialization of State Power in Niger

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pp. 213-240

In late 2003 rumors began circulating in the small provincial town of Dogondoutchi, Niger that the poliomyelitis vaccine administered to children was harmful. The vaccine, the rumor had it, caused sterility in children and had been developed by Western scientists...

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9. School of Deliverance: Healing, Exorcism, and Male Spirit Possession in the Ghanaian Presbyterian Diaspora

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pp. 241-268

The political and social changes associated with globalization in the last two decades have resulted in radical shifts in the circulation of people, religious institutions, and healing practitioners between Africa and the African-born immigrants in the U.S. In particular...

Part 3. Moving Through the Gaps

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10. It’s Just Like the Internet: Transnational Healing Practices between Somaliland and the Somali Diaspora

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pp. 271-294

At the airport of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the summer of 2005, I became acquainted with Faadumo. Both of us had traveled the same route all the way from Finland, and we both were on the way to Hargeysa in northern Somalia—Faadumo was going to visit...

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11. Mobility and Connectedness: Chinese Medical Doctors in Kenya

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pp. 295-315

Since the late 1980s, Kenya has seen a constant coming and going of Chinese medical doctors. These traveling medical experts have not been excessively numerous (during the last 20 years their numbers have ranged between only 20 and 40 persons at any point in...

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12. Guinean Migrant Traditional Healers in the Global Market

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pp. 316-336

West African traditional therapists, healers, and ritual experts have crossed national and continental borders, spreading their therapeutic knowledge and worldview along their migrant itineraries. Nowadays, in every southern European capital, West African therapists...


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pp. 337-338


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pp. 339-348

E-ISBN-13: 9780253005328
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253357090

Page Count: 358
Publication Year: 2012