Epidemiological Change and Chronic Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa

Social and historical perspectives

Edited by Megan Vaughan, Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo, and Marissa Mika


ISBN: 9781787357051

Publication: January 27, 2021

Epidemiological Change and Chronic Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa offers new and critical perspectives on the causes and consequences of recent epidemiological changes in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly on the increasing incidence of so-called ‘non-communicable’ and chronic conditions. Historians, social anthropologists, public health experts and social epidemiologists present important insights from a number of African perspectives and locations to present an incisive critique of ‘epidemiological transition’ theory and suggest alternative understandings of the epidemiological change on the continent.

Arranged in three parts, ‘Temporalities: Beyond Transition’, ‘Numbers and Categories’ and ‘Local Biologies and Knowledge Systems’, the chapters cover a broad range of subjects and themes, including the trajectory of maternal mortality in East Africa, the African smoking epidemic, the history of sugar consumption in South Africa, causality between infectious and non-communicable diseases in Ghana and Belize, the complex relationships between adult hypertension and paediatric HIV in Botswana, and stories of cancer patients and their families as they pursue treatment and care in Kenya.

In all, the volume provides insights drawn from historical perspectives and from the African social and clinical experience to offer new perspectives on the changing epidemiology of sub-Saharan Africa that go beyond theories of ‘transition’. It will be of value to students and researchers in Global Health, Medical Anthropology and Public Health, and to readers with an interest in African Studies.

Megan Vaughan is Professor of African History and Health at UCL.

Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo is Senior Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Greenwich.

Marissa Mika is a historian and ethnographer.

List of figures and tables
List of contributors  

Introduction Megan Vaughan and Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo

Temporalities: Beyond transition
1 The epidemiologic transition turned upside down: Britain’s mortality history as an imaginative resource for Africa Simon Szreter
2 Contingent futures, continuous pasts: experts, activists and social and disease transitions (1950-80’s) Kavita Sivaramakrishna
3 Maternal health, epidemiology and transition theory in Africa Shane Doyle
4 Pathologies of modernisation: epidemiological Imaginaries and the smoking epidemic in post-colonial Africa David Reubi
5 Sugar and diabetes in post-war South Africa Megan Vaughan                                                 
Numbers and Categories
6 Validity of measures for chronic disease in African settings Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo
7 Estimating and monitoring the burden of non-communicable and chronic disease in Ghana Olutobi Sanuade                                                              
Local biologies and knowledge systems: “New diseases” in context
8 The para-communicable: living between infectious and non-communicable conditions Amy Moran-Thomas
9 Translating societies: non-communicable disease and ‘the first 1000 days’ in South Africa Michelle Pentecost
10 In tandem: Breastfeeding knowledge and thinking from Southern Africa Catherine Burns
11 Narrowed passages, Increased pressures: Adult hypertension and paediatric HIV in Botswana Betsey Behr Brada
12 Malignant stories: The chronicity of cancer and the pursuit of care in Kenya Ruth J. Prince


Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

378 Pages

4 colour illustrations

Copyright: © 2021

ISBN: 9781787357051

Publication: January 27, 2021

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