Samuel Adu-Gyamfi deposited Cerebrospinal meningitis in the Colonial History of the Asante of Ghana on Humanities Commons 4 months, 1 week ago
The incidence of diseases in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) shaped encounters between colonial officials and indigenous people, yet this subject has merited minimum attention in the Ghanaian historiography. This paper examines the colonial healthcare interventions to combat the outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) in Asante and
how the presence of the disease transformed the relationship between the people of Asante and Europeans. The outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) in Asante was sporadic especially in the early 1900s. The incidence of the disease in Asante was socially constructed and attributed to spiritual cause at its initial stages. The impact of the disease on economic and social activities prompted the colonial administration to take swift actions against its spread. The study provides detailed account on: the history of CSM in Asante during the colonial period; the nature of its spread; the colonial administration’s strategies to combat the disease; and the effect of the disease on the socio-economic activities among the Asante people of Ghana. This paper argues that the fight against diseases in Asante; CSM in particular, required a synergy between local and institutional actions.