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Title:'The problem of the health of the native': colonial rule and the rural African healthcare question in Zimbabwe, 1890s-1930
Author:Ncube, Glen
Periodical:South African Historical Journal (ISSN 0258-2473)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:colonial policy
health care
rural society
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02582473.2012.693533
Abstract:This article addresses one of the intriguing paradoxes of colonial Zimbabwe's early twentieth-century medical history, that despite the unusually early interest in rural health care showed by the colony's political leadership and senior, non-medical bureaucrats, until the 1930s the colony's rural health care infrastructure remained tentative, sporadic and makeshift. The article endeavours to solve this puzzle by seeking for answers in the divergent visions held by the medical and non-medical policymakers and the intractable debates about African health care. By tracing these protracted debates to the turn of the century, the article revises the popular depiction of colonial rural health care reform as an essentially post-World War I phenomenon. Moreover, it also argues that the collage of reasons, including the colonists' enlightened self-interest, which have been proffered by historians to explain health care reform in other colonies were, in colonial Zimbabwe, neither self-evident nor uncontested. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]