Living Archives and Dying Wards: Reflections on Medical Archives in Eastern Africa

by Dr. Mika Marissa I am currently writing a book on the history of the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI). I tell the story of how a small experimental chemotherapy research site established by the Makerere department of surgery and the US National Cancer Institute in 1967 remained open during a long period of political instability, […]

Read More…

Soaring but Souring Sugar: Type 2 Diabetes in Kerala

In this post, Professor Kesavan Rajasekharan Nayar discusses complexity with respect to the public health profile of Kerala, considered as one of the healthiest states in India. This complexity is indeed worrisome and a humanitarian perspective which addresses the psychological and economic fallouts of the health scenario is required. Societies which have been proclaimed as […]

Read More…

Ethnographic Surprises and Crisis: Studying Clinician-Researchers in Johannesburg

by Renée van der Wiel My hope is that this poster might provide some light relief and a sense of community among those who have done in-depth social research in medical institutions. And, for those who have not, I hope the tool of humour here provides some insight into the emotional labour, tending towards existential […]

Read More…

Field Notes in the Clinic on Medicine, Anthropology and Pedagogy in South Africa

by Michelle Pentecost In this commentary I draw on my experience working as a medical doctor and an anthropologist to explore what different disciplinary orientations allow us to ‘see’ in clinical settings. I argue that the anthropological skills of observation, privileging relationship, and of learning to foreground social context, have much to offer for teaching […]

Read More…

Interview: Nolwazi Mkhwanazi and Emmanuel Babatunde Omobowale, 30th October 2018

Emmanuel Babatunde Omobowale is Nigeria’s first Professor of Literature and Medicine, a position he has held since 2010. From 2012 to 2017 he was also head of the Department of English at the University of Ibadan. Given that Medical Humanities is a nascent field in Africa, I am interested in the Nigerian experience of  developing […]

Read More…

The Foot: Three Poems

by Kobus Moolman In 2008, while on a residency at the Caversham Centre for Writers and Artists in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, I wrote, in a single sitting late one afternoon, a cycle of six poems about various parts of my body. There was ‘The Hand’, ‘The Foot’, ‘The Foot (the other one)’, ‘The Shoulder’, ‘The […]

Read More…

Music Composition to Explore Delirium in Hospital: A Johannesburg-Based Study

by Victoria Hume For the last few years I’ve been writing music about delirium – a state often induced by being in hospital and which can be characterised by paranoia, delusion and hallucination. It is immensely common, with a documented prevalence of around 20% in ‘normal’ care[1][2] rising to 87% peak incidence in intensive care.[3][4] […]

Read More…

A Reflection on the Past, Present and Future of Critical Health and Medical Humanities in Malawi

by Chisomo Kalinga On 24–26 August 2017, the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College in Zomba hosted its first international medical humanities conference, which was funded by the Wellcome Trust. It was an honour to be part of the team that helped support this initiative with our hosts. Scholars, creative practitioners, policymakers, NGOs and members of […]

Read More…

Special Issue Focus: Medical Humanities in Africa

‘Medical and Health Humanities in Africa – Inclusion, Access, and Social Justice’ “Wamkelekile, karibu, welkom, and welcome,” begins the introduction to this special issue, guest edited by Carla Tsampiras[1], Nolwazi Mkhwanazi[2], and Victoria Hume[3]. In this, our final issue of 2018, we are pleased to present works from parts of Africa on the subject of […]

Read More…