This book combines evidence from natural and social sciences to examine the impact on Africa of seven cholera pandemics since 1817, particularly the current impact of cholera on such major countries as Senegal, Angola, Mozambique, Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Myron Echenberg highlights the irony that this once-terrible scourge, having receded from most of the globe, now kills thousands of Africans annually - Africa now accounts for more than 90 percent of the world's cases and deaths - and leaves many more with severe developmental impairment. Responsibility for the suffering caused is shared by Western lending and health institutions and by often venal and incompetent African leadership. If the threat of this old scourge is addressed with more urgency, great progress in the public health of Africans can be achieved.
Myron Echenberg is former Chair of the History Department at McGill University, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He is a former editor of the Canadian Journal of African Studies and previously served as President of the Canadian Association of African Studies. Professor Echenberg is the author of Plague Ports: The Global Urban Impact of Bubonic Plague, 1894-1901; Black Death, White Medicine: Bubonic Plague and the Politics of Public Health in Colonial Senegal, 1914-1945; and Colonial Conscripts: The Tirailleurs Senegalais in French West Africa, 1857-1960, which won the Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association for the outstanding original scholarly work published during 1991.
Introduction; Part I. The First Six Cholera Pandemics, 1817-1947: 1. 'The fiend of pestilence' circles the globe; 2. Medical responses; 3. Cholera ravages Sub-Saharan Africa: Senegambia, Ethiopia, and Zanzibar, 1821-94; 4. Cholera in North Africa and the Nile Valley: Tunisia, 1835-68, and Egypt, 1823-1947; Part II. The Seventh Cholera Pandemic Strikes Africa: 5. Medical changes; 6. Seventh pandemic in Africa, 1971-2009; 7. Risk factors: environment and geography, armed conflicts and the dispersal of refugees; 8. Risk factors: public health policy choices among stable and weak states; 9. Zimbabwe, portrait of cholera in a failed state; 10. Cholera today.