This chapter reflects on hospitals and nurses during the 1970s’ war. Taking hospitals as a microcosm of Rhodesian society at the time, the chapter suggests that the challenges that faced the nation were also reflected within clinical spaces. The chapter highlights that during the 1970s, hospitals became important sites of struggles being fought in the political arena. Emphasis is placed on racial conflicts within hospitals as reflections of the tensions and anxieties that gripped the nation at war during the 1970s. Besides accentuating racial tension in hospitals, the war had a direct impact on the provision of health services. Urban and rural healthcare workers were affected by the war in various ways. Although urban-based nurses had to cope with patient upsurges and workload increases, it was rural-based nurses, those in the theatre of the struggle, who were affected directly by the war. Just as the ordinary folk in war torn rural Rhodesia, rural-based nurses juggled between two warring armies. In their recollections of the 1970s, nurses stressed that their presence within clinical spaces at the height of the war was central in nursing a nation at war. The chapter ends by examining the provision of care within guerrilla camps. In spite of limited resources within ‘bush hospitals’, nurses and medics working in guerrilla camps played a vital role in the provision of care to freedom fighters and refugees. As with nurses in urban and rural hospitals, they were nursing a nation at war.
The post-Second World War era saw significant changes to nursing services in Southern Rhodesia. Key to the transformation in nursing services was the opening up of State Registered Nurse (SRN) training to non-Europeans. Young African women were sent to South Africa for training as SRNs. At the same time, the government began training the first cohorts of non-European nurses at Princess Margaret, Harare (Gomo) and Mpilo hospitals.The chapter argues that while the entrance of non-European women into the SRN profession was in part due to policy changes in the post-Second World War era, the privileging of government’s efforts only tell one side of the story. It obscures non-European nurses’ agency, in the process failing to take into consideration young women’s motives for choosing the profession as a preferred career option. Hence, drawing on oral histories, the chapter explores the varied yet interrelated reasons for choosing nursing as a career, young women’s perceptions of their career, their agency and the socio-economic mobility amongst these young women. It notes that the reason for choosing nursing ranged from the attractive nature of the occupation, the aura associated with nursing, the presence of role models and economic issues. An emphasis of these various motives not only opens up space to explore their hopes and aspirations within the colonial environment, but for nursing history, their recollections are shown as central in the forging of the nursing identity in Rhodesia during the post-Second World war era.
This chapter examines the trajectories of nursing from 1980–96. It notes that after independence, the new government introduced several changes to hospital spaces. These included dismantling colonial policies, in the process opening up hospitals to Zimbabweans of all races and social classes. The government also accelerated the Africanisation of key structures within the hospital system and nursing services and improved nurses’ working conditions. However, hospitals continued to experience numerous challenges inherited from the colonial period: lack of investment and for the nurses, increased workloads. The situation took a massive turn in the early 1990s when the government adopted the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme, which resulted in a reduction in public sector investment, affecting the nurses’ capacity to provide services. At the same time, the emergence of the HIV/AIDS menace, complicated the situation. Working conditions deteriorated, real wages declined and nurses experienced increased workloads by the mid-1990s. Nurses were not passive victims of their situation. They employed various strategies to cope with the changing working environment. Some nurses joined the private sector or migrated abroad, while the majority remained in the public sector – providing medical care. The most controversial of all responses were the 1996 strikes, which seemed to deviate from the traditional notions of nursing as vocation vis-à-vis a profession. While authorities emphasised the nature of the profession and patients’ rights in their response to the strikes, the nurses positioned themselves as workers demanding the right to determine the best way to execute their duty to the community.
This book is a history of nineteenth-century Dublin through human–animal relationships. The book offers a unique perspective on ordinary life in the Irish metropolis during a century of significant change and reform. The book argues that the exploitation of animals formed a key component of urban change, from municipal reform to class formation to the expansion of public health and policing. The book uses a social history approach but draws on a range of new and underused sources including archives of the humane society and the Zoological Society, popular songs, visual ephemera and diaries. The book moves chronologically from 1830 to 1900 with each chapter focused on specific animals and their relationship to urban changes. The first chapter examines the impact of Catholic emancipation and rising Catholic nationalism on the Zoological Society and the humane movement. The second chapter looks at how the Great Famine drove reformers to try to clearly separate the urban poor from animals. The third chapter considers the impact of the expanding cattle trade on the geography, infrastructure and living conditions of the city. The fourth chapter looks at how middle-class ideas about the control of animals entered the legal code and changed where and how pigs and dogs were kept in the city. The fifth and final chapter compares ideas of the city as modern or declining and how contrasting visions were associated with particular animals. The book will interest anyone fascinated by the history of cities, the history of Dublin or the history of Ireland.
This chapter examines the expansion of policing as a form of implementing social changes through a comparison of dogs and pigs. The chapter looks first at the introduction of the dog fancy to Ireland and especially Dublin and considers how the new concept of the dog as a specially bred house pet contributed to the development of more stringent regulations, including a tax, on dogs in the city. The chapter compares the process of policing dogs with that of policing pigs, which were increasingly considered incompatible with city life. The chapter reveals that middle-class standards of pedigree and hygiene combined with policing efforts to have significant impacts on how the poor were allowed to keep animals.
This chapter draws the book to a close by considering how animals were viewed in Dublin during the twentieth century. The chapter reiterates the book’s argument that human responses to different groups and types of urban animals played an important role in shaping modern urban life including laws, policing, geography, transportation and culture. A comparison of the fates of the Dublin Cattle Market and the Zoological Gardens suggests the degree to which we have accepted particular roles for animals in the city (as pets and spectacle) while concealing other roles (as food or work animals). The chapter also considers the issue of how historians can include animals in their work and what kind of agency we might say that they have.
Improvement and the poor during the Great Famine, 1845–50
The advent of the Great Famine had significant impacts on Dublin, especially in the areas of public health and municipal reform. This chapter shows how concerns about the relationship between the Irish poor and animals drove the expansion of public health initiatives and shaped debates around the provision of food relief. The chapter focuses on debates about the rearing of pigs in the urban environment, how to dispose of human and animal wastes and the proper components of soup to provide to the city’s hungry paupers.
This chapter introduces the main argument of the book: that animals have been an important part of urban change during the nineteenth century. The chapter situates the book in the historical literature on human–animal relationships, on cities and on nineteenth-century Dublin. The chapter argues that recapturing animal presence in the city is an important means of writing a new history of ordinary life in Dublin and other cities. A synopsis of each chapter is also provided.
This chapter considers the impact of an expanding appetite for beef in England and in Dublin on the economy, geography and health of the city. The chapter argues that the move towards expanded livestock farming in the aftermath of the Famine had a significant and lasting impact on the city of Dublin, just as it had on agriculture in the countryside. The chapter examines the increased regulation of slaughterhouses and meat production in the city and how this expressed municipal ambition to control and enhance the urban environment. The second part of the chapter focuses on the development of a new cattle market in the city and how this reflected the commitment of Dublin to serve the agricultural industries of rural Ireland into the future. The result of both of these changes was to entrench a certain type of cattle business within the urban landscape well into the future.
This chapter compares the fates of the Dublin Zoological Society and the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) during the early nineteenth century. The chapter argues that the specific political and social context of Ireland in the aftermath of Catholic Emancipation and at the beginning of the campaign for Repeal of the Union shaped attitudes towards the exploitation of animals. In particular, the chapter shows that the DSPCA suffered from a lack of public interest because its daily activities involved the punishment of poor Catholics in a city increasingly politicised along religious lines. The Zoological Society, by contrast, developed widespread public support for the display of exotic animals as a project in popular education.