Article ID: CBB996132296

“Going ‘the Last Mile’ to Eliminate Malaria” in Myanmar? (2022)


This article explores the question of how malaria “ends” in Myanmar, since malaria has been categorized both as an epidemic and as being endemic on seemingly countless occasions. The example of malaria reveals some of the limitations of understanding a disease within a single category of experience, such as an “epidemic.” In the case of malaria, epidemic is a shifting term that is best understood as being the point at which health authorities decide to intervene in the disease, rather than as a clear and absolute measure of the scale or intensity of the threat. The identification of malaria as epidemic may thus be better understood as a political choice rather than as a precisely defined medical category. This article thus discusses what it means to end malaria in Myanmar, what kind of ending has been envisaged, and by whom. As this article demonstrates, policy makers have at various points aimed for the “elimination,” “eradication,” and “control” of malaria. Unlike the local population, who seem to have a rather nonchalant attitude toward malaria since malaria has long been familiar to them, international partners and the government have been shaping the narrative toward elimination with the aim of obtaining the World Health Organization's malaria-free certificate. Despite a number of political, social, and environmental obstacles, they believe that elimination can be achieved by 2030. However, unexpected political events such as the military coup in 2021, as well as the emergence of another pandemic, demonstrates that the “end” of malaria is a fragile concept.

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Authors & Contributors
Jones, M.
Fidler, David P.
Jenkins, Jane E.
Carter, Eric D.
Breyfogle, Nicholas B.
Otter, Christopher J.
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
Social History of Medicine
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Journal of World History
Medical History
Palgrave Macmillan
World Health Organization (WHO)
Duke University Press
University of California, Davis
Manchester University Press
Oxford University Press
Public health
Medicine and government
Medicine and politics
Medicine and society
Global health
Sri Lanka
New Brunswick (Canada)
Middle and Near East
Jamaica (Caribbean)
20th century, late
21st century
20th century, early
20th century
19th century
World Health Organization (WHO)
Tennessee Valley Authority

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