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THE TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT AND MALARIA IN THE TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT AND MALARIA IN ... I also appreciate the department of history and the platform of the ‘History in the Making’

Jul 10, 2020

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  • THE TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT AND MALARIA IN

    SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA, 1861 – 1960

    BY

    ADEDAMOLA SEUN ADETIBA

    Thesis Presented for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in the Department of

    History, RHODES UNIVERSITY

    Supervisor: Prof. Enocent Msindo

    FEBRUARY 2019

  • i

    CONTENTS

    Contents……………………………………………………………………………… i

    Abstract……………………………………………………………………………… ii

    Acknowledgement…………………………………………………………………... iv

    Chapter 1: Introduction: Malaria, Colonial Subjects, and Empire ………………….. 1

    Chapter 2: Encountering the Tropical Environment: Early European Perceptions of

    Southwestern Nigeria ……………………………………………………………… 24

    Chapter 3: The Politics of Preventive Medicine in Southwestern Nigeria, 1861-1960 ….. 56

    Chapter 4: The Early Stage of Malaria Research in Lagos, 1890 – c. 1930 ………………… 100

    Chapter 5: Development Planning and Malaria Control in Southwestern Nigeria ………… 148

    Chapter 6: The Contributions of Africans to Antimalarial Schemes in Southwestern Nigeria 194

    Chapter 7: Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………… 236

    Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………… 248

  • ii

    ABSTRACT

    This thesis is a social history of malaria in southwestern Nigeria. It contributes to the

    burgeoning literature in the historiography of medicine, specifically the medicine and empire

    debate. Key to the issues raised in this thesis is the extent to which the limitations in colonial

    medical policies, most especially malaria control programmes, inspired critical and ingenious

    responses from African nationalists, doctors, patients, research volunteers, and indigenous

    medical practitioners. Challenged by a wide range of diseases and a paucity of health facilities

    and disease control schemes, African rural dwellers became medical pluralists in the ways they

    imagined and appropriated ideas of Western medicine alongside their indigenous medical

    practices. Beginning with a detailed historical exploration of the issues that informed the

    introduction of curative and preventive medicine in southwestern Nigeria, this thesis reveals

    the focus of colonial medicine. It exposes the one-sided nature of medical services in colonial

    spaces like southwestern Nigeria and the ways it shaped multifaceted responses from Africans,

    who were specifically side-lined till the 1950s when the rural medical service scheme was

    introduced.

    The focus of colonial medicine is drawn from relatively rich but often subjective historical

    evidence, such as a plethora of official reports of the department of medical and sanitary

    services, official correspondences within the colonial government in Lagos and Nigeria, and

    between the colonial government and the colonial office in the United Kingdom. Details of

    African responses to medical policies were garnered from newspaper publications and

    correspondences between the African public and the colonial government in Lagos. They

    reveal very interesting details of the ways Africans imagined, reimagined, and appropriated

    malaria control ideas and schemes.

  • iii

    The central argument in this thesis is that attempts to control malaria in southwestern Nigeria

    till the 1950s, were shaped by a single concern to ameliorate the implications of the disease on

    the colonial state. It argues that this one-sided nature of malaria control programme informed

    the basis for medical pluralism in most rural spaces where African communities became

    patrons and sponsors of Western medicine and at the same time custodians of their indigenous

    medical practices. The series of justifications for the sustenance of these services were

    reinforced on the basis of the failure of the colonial state to guarantee the health needs of their

    colonial subjects. The aim of the thesis is to reinforce arguments that portray colonial medicine

    as a “tool of empire” but goes a bit further to explain the extent to which Africans related to

    this reality. It states quite categorically that Africans were not docile and silent, but that they

    acted decisively in ways that suited their varied interests and courses.

  • iv

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    The work presented in this thesis benefited immensely from the contributions, encouragements,

    and support of my supervisor, Professor Enocent Msindo. Professor Msindo was involved in

    every phase of the research and the thesis through his critical comments and his kind reception

    whether I faced certain hurdles. Also, he was instrumental in recommending the African

    Pathways Scholarship to me during the first year of my studentship. He has since played the

    role of a supervisor, mentor, and career advisor.

    The data used in writing this thesis were garnered from several onsite and digital archives and

    libraries. I would like to acknowledge the archivists that assisted me during my ten-month

    fieldwork at the National Archives, Ibadan, Nigeria. I also appreciate the London School of

    Hygiene and Tropical Medicine archives, for allowing me to access several documents in their

    Ross Collection. Adam Matthew Digital Archive was generous enough to grant a trial request

    to my University Library when I made a request, even at a short notice. I was able to access

    their rich collections of the CMS medical missions in Africa and other records of the colonial

    office. The British Online Archives was also useful in my quest to garner more information

    about the colonial office.

    I am immensely grateful to the staff of Rhodes University Library. They made this research an

    easy and productive one. I was able to access bountiful newspaper records on colonial Nigeria

    through the library interface. I also owe a load of gratitude to the department office, especially

    the departmental secretary for helping with some admins, even when they were not convenient.

    This research benefited from a generous joint-scholarship award from the National Institute of

    Humanities and Social Research (NIHSS) and the Council for the Development of Social

    Science Research in Africa. The funds, workshops, conferences, and mentorship provided by

    the NIHSS were important in the successful completion of this thesis. Professor Paul Maylam

  • v

    and Professor Fred Hendriks, mentors of the NIHSS in Rhodes University, were very

    supportive with their encouragement and feedback during the period of my study in the

    university. I also appreciate the department of history and the platform of the ‘History in the

    Making’ seminar where some of the ideas in this thesis were presented and highly critiqued by

    colleagues and academic staff of the department.

    Most of all, and quite appropriate for this thesis and programme, I would like to appreciate my

    family, for their unconditional love and care throughout these years. My parents, Pastor and

    Mrs. Adetiba, my siblings, Kayode, Bisola, Busayo and my wife, Adepeju have been very

    supportive during these couple of years. My friends, Deji, Dimeji, Afolabi, Dotun, Thapelo,

    Jako, Sinazo, Omowunmi (and her beautiful family), Niran, John Onakwe, Bankole, Kola, and

    Adeola Samuel have also assisted in very important ways during the course of writing this

    thesis. Yinka Anifowose provided some funds to cushion some of my expenses during the first

    year of the programme. After receiving these individual and institutional supports, I remain

    solely responsible for any omissions and mistakes that may be found in this thesis.

  • 1

    CHAPTER ONE

    INTRODUCTION: MALARIA, COLONIAL SUBJECTS, AND THE PLIGHT OF

    EMPIRE

    The challenges of malaria remain a topical and recurring issue in discourses on development

    in sub-Saharan Africa. State and non-state institutions have been committed to channelling a

    feasible course for ameliorating the impact of the disease on infant and maternal health. Since

    the 1950s, controlling the disease has featured in development goals of the United Nations, and

    has been a significant item in the foreign policy of African states and that of foreign donors.

    At present, tackling malaria remains a contingent part of the Sustainable Development Goals

    and the agendas of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Funds, and the World

    Health Organization. Since 1998, the World Health Organization has invested considerably to

    eradicating the disease in Africa through her Roll Back Malaria programme. While the malarial

    problem remains perpetual in this part of the world, remarkable progress has been recorded

    elsewhere. The WHO, in May 2015, launched the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-

    2030 programme to keep track on

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