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Author: Tizian Zumthurm
Tizian Zumthurm uses the extraordinary hospital of an extraordinary man to produce novel insights into the ordinary practice of biomedicine in colonial Central Africa. His investigation of therapeutic routines in surgery, maternity care, psychiatry, and the treatment of dysentery and leprosy reveals the incoherent nature of biomedicine and not just in Africa. Reading rich archival sources against and along the grain, the author combines concepts that appeal to those interested in the history of medicine and colonialism. Through the microcosm of the hospital, Zumthurm brings to light the social worlds of Gabonese patients as well as European staff. By refusing to easily categorize colonial medical encounters, the book challenges our understanding of biomedicine as solely domineering or interactive.
In: Practicing Biomedicine at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital 1913-1965
In: Practicing Biomedicine at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital 1913-1965
In: Practicing Biomedicine at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital 1913-1965
In: Practicing Biomedicine at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital 1913-1965
In: Practicing Biomedicine at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital 1913-1965
In: Practicing Biomedicine at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital 1913-1965
Rise and Fall of Disease in Europe
In A History of Population Health Johan P. Mackenbach offers a broad-sweeping study of the spectacular changes in people’s health in Europe since the early 18th century. Most of the 40 specific diseases covered in this book show a fascinating pattern of ‘rise-and-fall’, with large differences in timing between countries. Using a unique collection of historical data and bringing together insights from demography, economics, sociology, political science, medicine, epidemiology and general history, it shows that these changes and variations did not occur spontaneously, but were mostly man-made. Throughout European history, changes in health and longevity were therefore closely related to economic, social, and political conditions, with public health and medical care both making important contributions to population health improvement.

Readers who would like to have a closer look at the quantitative data used in the trend graphs included in the book can find these it here.

Abstract

After the conquest of many infectious diseases and other health problems of industrializing societies, morbidity and mortality patterns in Europe became dominated by a range of chronic diseases, including ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, various cancers, liver cirrhosis, dementia, and depression, as well as by injuries, including road traffic injuries and suicide. More recently, a new ‘plague’ occurred in the form of aids. This chapter traces long-term trends in these diseases, which again often manifested themselves in a striking pattern of ‘rise-and-fall’. Among the factors involved in the ultimate decline of these diseases, improvements in the effectiveness of medical care now also played a prominent role than in the past, but economic, political and sociocultural changes were still important in the background. As in previous periods, there were striking differences between European regions in the timing of the decline of these health problems, with Northern, Western and Southern Europe taking the lead.

In: A History of Population Health