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    In search of a ‘magic bullet’ for tuberculosis: South India and beyond, 1955–1965

    Amrith, Sunil S. (2004) In search of a ‘magic bullet’ for tuberculosis: South India and beyond, 1955–1965. Social History of Medicine 17 (1), pp. 113-130. ISSN 0951-631X.

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    Between 1956 and the mid-1960s, urban south India served as a global ‘laboratory’ for the study of tuberculosis. This article examines the origins and development of two internationally sponsored projects, in Madras (now Chennai) and Bangalore, established to investigate the medical and social implications of introducing anti-tuberculosis drugs in poor urban communities. The article thus provides a case study of the role of biomedical technology in an early international health campaign, examining how changing knowledge and technology re-cast the perceived relationship between disease and poverty. I also aim to situate the history of tuberculosis control within the broader context of the ideas and politics of ‘development’ in the international arena during the 1950s and 1960s. In particular, the article looks at the interaction between a medical discourse involving the individualization of tuberculosis as a health problem, and an economic discourse of ‘cost-effectiveness’ in international public health policy.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): international health, tuberculosis, World Health Organization, post-colonial India, social medicine, development, health policy
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Sandra Plummer
    Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2007
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:47


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