Health, Politics & Culture



A mural at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe

Multiple Healths: Pasts, presents and futures of biomedicine and wellbeing in/with Africa

An international symposium organized by Forum for Africa Studies at Uppsala University.

Dates: 11-12 May 2017, Uppsala, Sweden
Place: Sydney Alrutz Room, 13:026 Blåsenhus, von Kraemers Allé 1A, Uppsala, Sweden

Participation is free and open to the public. However, please register your participation here

In this symposium we ask how local aspirations for, and visions of, health and well-being in African contexts are, or have been, facilitated, compromised, or bypassed by globally connected bio-medical projects and practices. Moving beyond critiques of evidence-based medicine or globally mobile models of medical knowledge and practice, the symposium explores cases where local actors and organizations seek to realize improvements in health that do not always conform to coexisting global/regional/national health priorities, programmes, policies or concepts. We further explore actor’s explicit, implicit and hidden strategies for capturing global practices and resource flows to facilitate local visions of health and well-being in Africa.

Thursday, 11 May

9.30    Eren Zink, Coordinator, Forum for Africa Studies

Opening of the Symposium and Welcome
9.45   Abena Dove Osseo-Asare, Dept of History, University of Texas at Austin, USA

‘Don't use herbs!' Healers, birthing and access to care in late 20th Century Ghana

10.30  Fika/Coffee

11.00  Bilinda Straight, Dept of Anthropology and Dept of Gender and Women’s Studies, Western Michigan University, USA

Health on the move: Pastoralist access to care in contexts of conflict and food insecurity

11.45  Lunch break

13.15  Ruth Prince, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Norway

Ruination, refusal and the struggle for public health in Kenya

14.00  Short papers (3 papers by Pallangyo, Holloway, , Zink)

15.00  Fika/Coffee

Esmeralda Mariano, Dept of Anthropology, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique

Medical spaces and practices as plural and without boundaries in southern Mozambique

16.15  Closing comments

16.30  End of Day 1

Friday, 12 May

9.15    Hussein Kidanto, Ministry of Health and Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Muhimbili University, Tanzania

Poverty and its impact on maternal deaths in less resource countries: The Tanzania experience

10.00  Fika/Coffee

10.30  Noémi Tousignant, Dept of History, Université de Montréal, Canada

Accreted infrastructure and global health: Demographic surveillance and poison control in Senegal

11.15  P. Wenzel Geissler, Dept of Anthropology, University of Oslo, Norway

‘Repressed rage'? A story of being Africanised


13.30  Hannah Akuffo, Unit of Research Cooperation, Sida, Sweden

Research capacity strengthening for real

Short papers (3 papers by Lindahl & Grace, Målqvist, and Sebestyén)

15.15  Fika/Coffee
15.45  Roundtable and Discussion    

Multiple healths: Ways forward?

16.45   Closing comments

17.00   End of Day 2