DISCURSIVE RISKS: What are the analyst’s epistemic assumptions of “Africa”?

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Angela Okune's picture
August 14, 2018

AO: Okeke’s work contrasts with some of the other work on STS in Africa because of her knowledge as a practicing pharmacist and microbiologist in Nigeria. She notes her research interest started when a paper she wrote about bacteria causing diarrhea was critiqued for its outdated and imprecise “standard” methods. In searching for a response, Okeke realized the sheer and overwhelming scope of the diagnostic gaps across Africa (xi). She is careful to write: “I hope I do not convey the impression that there are no diagnostic facilities in Africa.” She notes: “It is important to emphasize that the scale and scope of the problem described in this book is heterogeneous. … The argument I try to make here is that every African patient should have appropriate diagnostic access and most currently do not.” (xii). Based on her subject position and experiences, she is thus able to put together a nuanced but compelling call for greater intervention in the development of lab capacity on the continent. She is especially focused on techno and macro levels of analysis.

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