Historical Effects Of The Bubonic Epidemic In Lagos 1924-1959

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Studies on the history of disease occurrences, control and management within the humanities is a recent development. This thesis examined the history of Bubonic Plague in Lagos from the initial outbreak in 1924 up to 1959. The Bubonic Plague in Lagos between 1924 and 1959 accounted for a total of 1,947 cases with 1,813 deaths. This thesis examined the history of Bubonic Plague in Lagos from the initial outbreak in 1924 to 1959 when the pandemic was considered inactive by the World Health Organisation (WHO). While the peak of the virulence was marked in 1928 with 519 cases and 509 deaths, its lowest ebb was witnessed in 1931 with 5 cases and 5 deaths. Few existing studies on Bubonic Plague have focused on the geographical and biomedical dimension of the epidemic in Lagos thereby neglecting the humanistic socio-economic and cultural dynamics of the event. It is against this backdrop that this thesis examined the unprecedented historical landmarks created by colonial interventions and local responses to Bubonic Plague in Lagos. The objectives of this study were to: - (i.) examine the origin of transborder Bubonic Plague in Lagos; (ii.) historical pattern of transmission (iii.) evaluate colonial interventions and local responses, and (iv.) analyse the impact of the epidemic on the people of Lagos. rnA historical methodological approach and qualitative research design were adopted for the study, based on archival records, oral interviews, newspaper reports and the literature. rnThe findings of this research were:rn(i.) Bubonic Plague was introduced to Lagos from the Gold Coast (Ghana) through transborder kola nut trade network in West Africa. The progression of the epidemic from Kumasi (Gold Coast) to Lagos (Nigeria) unveils a new pattern of disease process in the region brought about by globalization and European imperialism;rn(ii.) the rapid transmission and diffusion of Plague in Lagos was facilitated by colonial transportation and communication networks as well as animal reservoirs such as the black rats. Its endurance in the port city is due to the Eurocentric Urbanism that found expression in the segregation and social neglect of the native settlements;rn(iii.) colonial interventions included transborder disease surveillance and screening, quarantine measures, environmental sanitation, town planning and biomedical healthcare. On the other hand, local responses involved religious and ethno-medical diagnoses and treatment based on a widely accepted historically rooted alternative to colonial intervention and; rn(iv.) intercultural responses to plague led to the invention of a colonial epidemic landscape in policy and practice that was piloted by cultural preferences, economic and political concerns. Plague control in colonial Lagos brings to the fore, the impact of the fear of contagion on labour productivity, public expenditure, migration, trade, food security, built environment and social mobility.rn rnThe study concluded that the history of Bubonic Plague unfolded the shortcoming within colonial administrative machinery the distinct socio-spatial nature of public health praxis in Lagos. The study recommended the same pragmatic approach adopted in combatting the Ebola scourge in Nigeria in any epidemic outbreak.

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Historical Effects Of The Bubonic Epidemic In Lagos 1924-1959

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