The Management of Bubonic Plague and Slum Clearance in Colonial Lagos: 1924 to 1957


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships




Perhaps more than any other disease, bubonic plague has been historically and epidemiologically entangled with the urban environment. Still, even after its genetic identification, its mode of transmission and persistence in the city and its evolving forms remains subject to debate across different field of scholarship, time and space None of the diseases that ravaged colonial Lagos equaled the bubonic plague in impact on livelihood, social temperament and physical morphology of the town. Yet, holistic studies of the socio-economic and political dynamics of the bubonic plague in Lagos, particularly the dispositions of indigenous population to colonial control measures of the epidemic, appear to be in short supply. This study examines the management of the plague, within the larger contexts of the British colonial public health policies and medical perceptions of and attitude to the colonised. The study employed the use of oral interviews and archival sources and secondary data.