The History of Blood Transfusion in Sub-Saharan Africa

The History of Blood Transfusion in Sub-Saharan Africa

by William H. Schneider

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Overview

The History of Blood Transfusion in Sub-Saharan Africa by William H. Schneider

This first extensive study of the practice of blood transfusion in Africa traces the history of one of the most important therapies in modern medicine from the period of colonial rule to independence and the AIDS epidemic. The introduction of transfusion held great promise for improving health, but like most new medical practices, transfusion needed to be adapted to the needs of sub-Saharan Africa, for which there was no analogous treatment in traditional African medicine.

This otherwise beneficent medical procedure also created a “royal road” for microorganisms, and thus played a central part in the emergence of human immune viruses in epidemic form. As with more developed health care systems, blood transfusion practices in sub-Saharan Africa were incapable of detecting the emergence of HIV. As a result, given the wide use of transfusion, it became an important pathway for the initial spread of AIDS. Yet African health officials were not without means to understand and respond to the new danger, thanks to forty years of experience and a framework of appreciating long-standing health risks. The response to this risk, detailed in this book, yields important insight into the history of epidemics and HIV/AIDS.

Drawing on research from colonial-era governments, European Red Cross societies, independent African governments, and directly from health officers themselves, this book is the only historical study of the practice of blood transfusion in Africa.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780821420379
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2013
Edition description: 1
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

William H. Schneider is Professor of History at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is author of Quality and Quantity: The Quest for Biological Regeneration in Twentieth-Century France and An Empire for the Masses: The French Popular Image of Africa, 1870–1900; and editor of Rockefeller Philanthropy and Modern Biomedicine: International Initiatives from World War I to the Cold War.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Abbreviations ix

Introduction 1

1 Blood Transfusion before the Second World War 9

2 Blood Transfusion from 1945 to Independence 28

3 Blood Transfusion in Independent African Countries 65

4 Who Got Blood? Indications for the Use of Blood Transfusion, 1945-2000 106

5 Who Gave Blood? 131

6 Blood Transfusion and Health Risk before and after the AIDS Epidemic 153

7 African Blood Transfusion in the Context of Global Health 173

Notes 181

Bibliography 219

Index 235

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