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Frontiers of Medicine in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1899–1940$
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Heather Bell

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207498.001.0001

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The International Construction of Yellow Fever

The International Construction of Yellow Fever

(p.163) 6 The International Construction of Yellow Fever
Frontiers of Medicine in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1899–1940

Heather Bell

Oxford University Press

This chapter highlights a new and important international dimension to medical research and disease control in Africa, born of the very specific conditions of the inter-war period. The linking of metropole and periphery that defined empire, and European concerns about the spread of diseases out of the tropics, meant that colonial medicine had always been to some extent international. Reflecting the growing importance of the United States on the international stage, the conception, funding, and execution of international health initiatives during the inter-war period depended largely on the Rockefeller Foundation and its International Health Division (IHD). The international community and the Rockefeller Foundation invented the yellow fever problem in Sudan. Yellow fever research and preventive measures in Sudan were prompted by the detection of immunity in human blood through the mouse protection test. This chapter argues that the medical community in the inter-war period policed the boundary between accepted and illegitimate medical knowledge — in this case knowledge generated by a new medical technology — using medical, political, and professional considerations.

Keywords:   Sudan, yellow fever, United States, Africa, colonial medicine, mouse protection test, Rockefeller Foundation, medical research, inter-war period, disease control

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