Mosquitoes, modernity and post-colonial Lagos
Professor Matthew Gandy Public Lecture
Malaria has been one of the most deadly and intractable public health threats facing African cities. It was not until the 1940s, however, that the prevalence of malaria in Lagos was systematically studied or the first large-scale measures to protect or treat people were undertaken. Initially, this transformation was driven by the strategic military needs of the British state but the comprehensive drainage of swamps marked a wider set of political and cultural changes in the build-up to Nigerian independence.
The paper argues that the relationship between modernity and the post-colonial transition is marked by a contradictory and often overlapping set of discourses to produce what might be termed a "partial modernity" exemplified by the continuing threat of malaria in the contemporary city.
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