Article ID: CBB360508361

Tuberculosis Control in Postcolonial South India and Southeast Asia: Fractured Sovereignties in International Health, 1948-1960 (2018)


Between 1948 and 1960, South India (Madras State) and Southeast Asia—with an emphasis on Indonesia, the Philippines, and Burma— emerged as global centres for tuberculosis control. This article attempts to situate tuberculosis control of these two regions within the broader context of transnational health. It investigates the unique ways in which tuberculosis control in South India and Southeast Asia reflected the inner tensions between the notional magic bullet approach, which focuses on specific cures to root out the cause of the disease, and a more holistic approach that relates disease prevention to overall well-being of the population. The implementation of tuberculosis control programs across South India and Southeast Asia shed light on the nature of the postcolonial state sovereignty in public health. Across India, as in Southeast Asia, the state sovereignty appertaining to the implementation of health policy was fractured, as evident in the opposition to the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination. Based on a wide range of archival materials, this article situates tuberculosis control within the context of nationalist discourse and preventive medicine. In doing so, it adds not only to the historiography of tuberculosis in non-Western contexts, which has hitherto focused on India, Sri Lanka, or Africa but also to the relatively new field of Southeast Asian medical history.

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Authors & Contributors
Moon, Suzanne Marie
Amrith, Sunil S.
García Ferrandis, Xavier
Markus, Miles B.
Naono, Atsuko
Brimnes, Niels
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Technology and Culture
Social History of Medicine
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
Journal of the History of Biology
Comparative Studies in Society and History
Orient BlackSwan
Harvard University
Duke University Press
Boydell Press
Yale University Press
Disease and diseases
Public health
Infectious diseases
Public policy
Southeast Asia
Myanmar (Burma)
20th century, late
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
20th century
World Health Organization (WHO)

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