A Medical Disaster and its Aftermaths: The Quest for Sleeping Sickness Eradication in Colonial Africa

Guillaume Lachenal, Thomas Dodman

Columbia University

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 2:15 pm EDT

The Center for Science and Society
511 Fayerweather Hall, 1180 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027

Free and open to the public; registration is required. For more information, please visit the event webpage

Guillaume Lachenal will present an episode of late-colonial public health, the so-called "Lomidinization" campaigns to eradicate sleeping sickness. After the Second World War, these campaigns were launched with great enthusiasm, and led to the administration of preventive Lomidine injections to more than 10 millions African colonial subjects. However, they were abandoned in the late 1950s after the discovery of their erratic side-effects and a series of fatal accidents. Retracing the rise and fall of that "wonder drug", and the sequence of hubris, denial and violence that accompany it, Guillaume Lachenanl examines how colonial medicine left strong marks in African bodies, ecologies and memories – especially in the form of iatrogenic epidemics including HIV and the Hepatitis C virus.