Project

Marginalized Communities and Health Exclusion: Midwifery and Midwifery Practices in Rural Ibadan, Nigeria, c.1900–1950

Program

African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships

Department

History

Abstract

This project adopts the social history of medicine approach in reconstructing the colonial medical practices in Ibadan, Nigeria, through the sites of midwifery and midwifery practices from 1900 to 1950. Influenced by a number of historical discourses on colonial medicine, this project exposes the prejudiced nature of colonial medical policies in colonial spaces like Ibadan, Nigeria, and the ways it shaped various responses especially from rural Africans who were specifically marginalized, thus, influencing the ways they imagined and appropriated Western medical ideas alongside their indigenous midwifery practices. Insights in this project are drawn from comparatively rich historical evidence, including a plethora of medical reports of the department of medical and sanitary services, official correspondences within the colonial government in Ibadan and Nigeria, and between the colonial government and the colonial office in the United Kingdom. Details of African responses to medical policies are sourced from oral testimonies and newspapers.