Understanding Tuberculosis and its Control: Anthropological and Ethnographic Approaches, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding Tuberculosis and its Control

Anthropological and Ethnographic Approaches, 1st Edition

Edited by Helen Macdonald, Ian Harper


280 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138314283
pub: 2019-07-09
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Hardback: 9781138314276
pub: 2019-07-09
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Over the last two decades attempts to control the problem of tuberculosis have become increasingly more complex, as countries adopt and adapt to evolving global TB strategies. Significant funding has also increased apace; diagnostic possibilities have evolved; and greater attention is being paid to developing broader health systems. Against this background, this book examines tuberculosis control through an anthropological lens. Drawing on ethnographic case studies from China, India, Nepal, South Africa, Romania, Brazil, Ghana and France, the volume considers: the relationship between global and national policies and their unintended effects; the emergence and impact of introducing new diagnostics; the reliance on and use of statistical numbers for representing tuberculosis and the politics of this; the impact of the disease on health workers as well as patients; the rise of drug resistant forms and issues of attempted control. Together the examples showcase the value of an anthropological understanding to demonstrate the broader bio-political and social dimensions of tuberculosis and attempts to deal with it.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Persistent pathogen

Helen Macdonald, Paul Mason and Ian Harper

2. "I wish one of these patients would sue us": Malpractice at the policy level and how Romania is not treating M/XDR-TB this year

Jonathan Stillo

3. "Where is the state?" Tuberculosis strategies in Ghana

Elisa Vasconi

4. "Time standing still": Nurses, temporality and metaphor in a paediatric tuberculosis ward in Cape Town, South Africa

Kate Abney

5. "It’s also the system": Republican dilemmas in French tuberculosis prevention

Janina Kehr

6. Using local statistics to tinker with TB treatment in a central Indian clinic

Helen Macdonald

7. Community DOTS and beyond: Tackling the collective processes that (re)produce tuberculosis in Rio de Janeiro

Oriana Rainho Brás, Carlos Machado de Freitas and João Arriscado Nunes

8. The price of free: Contextualizing the unintended expenditures of diagnosing tuberculosis patients in Kunming, China

Emilio Dirlikov

9. Innovating tuberculosis diagnostics for the point of care

Nora Engel

10. India’s national TB programme: The struggle for innovation and control

Mark Nichter

11. Excluded from reciprocity: Tuberculosis, conspicuous consumption, and the medicalisation of poverty

Paul H. Mason

12. Consumed in care: Healthcare workers in Mumbai’s TB control program

Ramila Bisht

13. Between representing and intervening: Diagnosing childhood tuberculosis during a vaccine trial in South Africa

Justin Dixon and Michèle Tameris

14. Laboratories and migration: A case study from Nepal

Ian Harper and Rekha Khatri

About the Editors

Helen Macdonald is a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Ian Harper is Professor of Anthropology of Health and Development and Director of the Centre for Medical Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General