The not-so-distant past, tuberculosis and the DOTS challenge
in Global health and the new world order
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This chapter discusses two local histories of tuberculosis (TB) to bridge gaps between history and anthropology in global health. Outlining TB’s resurgent interest within the two disciplines from about 1990, the chapter shows that historiographic concern for TB, although limited, arose from increased multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) rates in high-income countries. As for the historical discipline, this resulted in a focus on policies. Medical anthropology, by contrast, took a sustained interest in drug-based disease control and produced myriad studies of DOTS (Directly Observed Therapy, Short-Course) as practice. The local histories we consider – first Tanzania-based treatment trials from 1982 as a successful challenge to the World Health Organization WHO’s primary health care policy and second India’s transition to a DOTS-inspired control programme from 1993 – reveal that TB’s resurgent moment was an important part of local discussions about care, control and development in the age of globalization.

Global health and the new world order

Historical and anthropological approaches to a changing regime of governance


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