Tropicality and abjection: what do we really mean by “neglected tropical diseases”?

Shahvisi, Arianne (2019) Tropicality and abjection: what do we really mean by “neglected tropical diseases”? Developing World Bioethics. ISSN 1471-8731

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Abstract

Neglected tropical diseases are defined operationally as diseases that prevail in “tropical” regions and are under‐researched, under‐funded, and under‐treated compared with their disease burden. By analysing the adjectives “tropical” and “neglected,” I expose and interrogate the discourses within which the term “neglected tropical disease” derives its meaning. First, I argue that the term “tropical” conjures the notion of “tropicality,” a form of Othering which erroneously explains the disease‐prevalence of “tropical” regions by reference to environmental determinism, rather than colonialism and neocolonialism. Second, I examine the way in which this Othering enables the abjection of tropical regions and their peoples, leading to neglect. I recommend that the term “neglected tropical diseases” be more carefully contextualised within health scholarship, education, and policy.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: neglected tropical diseases, tropicality, Orientalism, abjection, environmental determinism, colonialism.
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Depositing User: Arianne Shahvisi
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2019 11:20
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 16:47
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/81791

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