1st Edition

Understanding Tuberculosis and its Control Anthropological and Ethnographic Approaches

Edited By Helen Macdonald, Ian Harper Copyright 2019
    294 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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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.

    1. Introduction: Persistent pathogen
    Helen Macdonald, Paul H. 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. Dianosing tuberculosis: A case study from Nepal
    Ian Harper and Rekha Khatri


    Helen Macdonald is an Associate Professor of 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.