Patterns in state control of disease: the case of Tuberculosis in Zanzibar, 1890-2005

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University of Dar es Salaam
TB has been a serious and resilient health problem in Zanzibar. It occurrence dates back to the period before British colonial rule. Both the colonial and postcolonial states introduced policies and undertook practical measures to control and exterminate this disease. The outcome, however, has not been good, as TB continues to be one of the major public health menaces in Zanzibar. In an attempt to explain the resilience of this problem, despite colonial and postcolonial interventions, this study sought relevant information from archives and through unstructured interviews. These data together with the background information gathered from secondary literature were integrated into the analysis presented here. The main argument of this study is that the TB control policies and practices of both the colonial and postcolonial states in Zanzibar were focused on cure rather than on prevention of the disease. However the emphasis on cure overlooked the fact that TB is a highly social problem, and therefore the necessity to raise people’s awareness of the nature of the disease and to deal with social and economic conditions, such as urban overcrowding, unhealthy housing and sanitary conditions and poor economic conditions among the majority of the population. Accordingly, it is argued that the failure to take into consideration these social and economic factors largely explains the resilience of TB in Zanzibar.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class Mark (THS EAF DT449.Z27A44)
Zanzibar, History, Tuberculosis, Diseases
Ali, M. S (2009) Patterns in state control of disease: the case of Tuberculosis in Zanzibar, 1890-2005, Master dissertation, Univesity of Dar es Salaam