Medicine, mobility and the empire

Nyasaland networks, 1859–1960

David Livingstone's Zambesi expedition marked the beginning of an ongoing series of medical exchanges between the British and Malawians. This book explores these entangled histories by placing medicine in the frameworks of mobilities and networks that extended across Southern Africa and beyond. It argues that mobility was a crucial aspect of intertwined medical cultures that shared a search for therapy in changing conditions. The Malawi mission stations were the first permanent sites in which Western medicine was made available to Africans. Livingstonia's medical practice began in Cape Maclear in 1875, moved to Bandawe in the early 1880s and expanded to Ngoniland and north Lake Malawi. Lacking effective therapies to deal with the high levels of ill health and morbidity that plagued them, Europeans sometimes sought out cures and protection from indigenous African, Asian and American healers, many of whom were women. The lay practice of 'doctoring' African employees with elements of trickery continued into the later colonial period. Medical middles were among the most mobile individuals in colonial Southern Africa, moving as they did between mission, government and private sector employment, and across local and regional boundaries. The Second World War brought about major changes in the types of antimalarials available in the Nyasaland Protectorate and the wider empire, as quinine became a scarcer resource and new synthetic anti-malarials became more available. Western medicine became recognised as one resource among others in a pluralistic medical culture, but African medicine, for Europeans, became mainly an object of ethnographical and anthropological interest.


To recommend this book to your librarian, please use the 'email' icon in the content tool bar.

Abstract only
Get Access to Full Text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Access Tokens

If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

Information

Full book download

  • Full book HTML download
  • Full book PDF download (with hyperlinks)

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 736 736 70
Full Text Views 315 315 19
PDF Downloads 65 65 13

Related Content