Frontiers of Medicine in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1899-1940

By Heather Bell | Go to book overview

3
The Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratories and the Organization of Research

Sudan was identified as a rich field for exploring frontiers of scientific knowledge almost from the beginning of colonial rule. Before there was a civil medical department in the country, there were laboratories for bacteriological and chemical research. Opened in Khartoum in 1903 and soon housing an entomological laboratory as well, the Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratories (WTRL) constituted the primary institution for scientific research of all kinds in Sudan. By the standards of other British colonies in Africa, such a foundation, so soon after colonial conquest, was exceptionally early. While the French had their overseas Pasteur Institutes,1 the more decentralized British empire, lacking a Pasteur and therefore a dominant scientific methodology to export, never had a network of metropolitan-affiliated research laboratories in its colonial territories. British tropical medicine remained a metropolitan-based discipline, centred around the Liverpool and London Schools of Tropical Medicine, sustained by overseas research and collection expeditions by scientists from these institutions.2 Laboratories based in Britain's African colonies grew up, therefore, in an ad hoc

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1
See Anne Marie Moulin, "'Patriarchal Science: The Network of the Overseas Pasteur Institutes'", in Patrick Petitjean, Catherine Jami, and Anne Marie Moulin (eds.), Science and Empires ( Boston: Kluwer Academic, 1992), 307-22; Anne Marie Moulin, "'The Pasteur Institutes between the Two World Wars. The Transformation of the International Sanitary Order'", in Paul Weindling (ed.), International Health Organisations and Movements 1918- 1939 ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 244-65; Kim Pelis, 'Pasteur's Imperial Missionary: Charles Nicolle (1866-1936) and the Pasteur Institute of Tunis', Ph.D. thesis ( The Johns Hopkins University, 1995).
2
Jennifer Beinart, "'The Inner World of Imperial Sickness: The MRC and Research in Tropical Medicine'", in Joan Austoker and Linda Bryder (eds.), Historical Perspectives on the Role of the MRC ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 109-26; Worboys, 'Emergence of Tropical Medicine', 75-98; Worboys, 'Manson, Ross', 21-37; Helen Power, 'Keeping the Strains Alive and More: Trypanosomiasis Research at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine's Laboratory in Runcorn', paper presented at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford, 22 Feb. 1996.

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Frontiers of Medicine in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1899-1940
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations x
  • Contents xi
  • Abbreviations xii
  • GLOSSARY xiv
  • I- The Boundaries of Colonial Medicine 1
  • 2: Medical Policy and Medical Practitioners 22
  • 3- The Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratories and the Organization Of Research 55
  • Conclusion 88
  • Conclusion 124
  • 5- Sleeping Sickness and the Ordering Of the South 127
  • Conclusion 161
  • 6- The International Construction Of Yellow Fever 163
  • Conclusion 195
  • 7- Midwifery Training and the Politics Of Female Circumcision 198
  • Conclusion 226
  • 8- Conclusion 229
  • Bibliography 234
  • Index 255
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