1921
Volume 91, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

Collecting blood samples from individuals recruited into clinical research projects in sub-Saharan Africa can be challenging. Strikingly, one of the reasons for participant reticence is the occurrence of local rumors surrounding “blood stealing” or “blood selling.” Such fears can potentially have dire effects on the success of research projects—for example, high dropout rates that would invalidate the trial's results—and have ethical implications related to cultural sensitivity and informed consent. Though commonly considered as a manifestation of the local population's ignorance, these rumors represent a social diagnosis and a logical attempt to make sense of sickness and health. Born from historical antecedents, they reflect implicit contemporary structural inequalities and the social distance between communities and public health institutions. We aim at illustrating the underlying logic governing patients' fear and argue that the management of these beliefs should become an intrinsic component of clinical research.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.13-0630
2014-08-06
2017-09-24
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/14761645/91/2/213.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.13-0630&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

References

  1. Geissler PW, , 2005. Kachinja are coming: encounters around a medical research project in a Kenyan village. Africa 75: 173202.[Crossref]
  2. Geissler PW, Pool R, , 2006. Popular concerns with medical research projects in Africa. Trop Med Int Health 11: 975983.[Crossref]
  3. Pool R, Munguambe K, Macete E, Aide P, Juma G, Alonso P, Menendez C, , 2006. Community response to intermittent preventive treatment (IPTi) through the EPI system in Manhica, Mozambique. Trop Med Int Health 11: 16701678.[Crossref]
  4. Fairhead J, Leach M, Small M, , 2006. Where techno-science meets poverty: medical research and the economy of blood in The Gambia, West Africa. Soc Sci Med 63: 11091120.[Crossref]
  5. Geissler P, Kelly A, Imoukhuede B, Pool R, , 2008. ‘He is now like a brother, I can even give him some blood’ – relational ethics and material exchanges in a malaria vaccine ‘trial community’ in the Gambia. Soc Sci Med 67: 696707.[Crossref]
  6. Erwin K, , 2006. The circulatory system: blood procurement, AIDS, and the social body in China. Med Anthropol Q 20: 139159.[Crossref]
  7. Carsten J, , 2013. Introduction: blood will out. JRAI Special Issue: Blood Will Out: Essays on Liquid Transfers and Flows . Volume 19, Issue Supplement S.
  8. Mayblin M, , 2013. The way blood flows: the sacrificial value of intravenous drip use in Northeast Brazil. JRAI Special Issue: Blood Will Out: Essays on Liquid Transfers and Flows . Volume 19, Issue Supplement S.
  9. Bildhauer B, , 2013. Medieval European conceptions of blood: truth and human integrity. JRAI Special Issue: Blood Will Out: Essays on Liquid Transfers and Flows . Volume 19, Issue Supplement S.
  10. Kuriyama S, , 1999. The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine. New York: Zone Books.
  11. Niehaus I, , 2005. Witches and zombies of the South African lowveld: discourse, accusation and subjective reality. Royal Anthropological Institute 11: 191210.[Crossref]
  12. Nyamnjoh F, Moore H, Sanders T, , 2001. Delusions of development and the enrichment of witchcraft discourses in Cameroon. , eds. Magical Interpretations, Material Realities: Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa. London: Routledge, pp. 2849.
  13. Bastian M, Moore H, Sanders T, , 2001. Vulture men, campus cultists and teenaged witches: modern magics in Nigerian popular media. , eds. Magical Interpretations, Material Realities: Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa. London: Routledge, pp. 7196.
  14. Sanders T, Moore H, Sanders T, , 2001. Save our skins: structural adjustments, morality and the occult in Tanzania. , eds. Magical Interpretations, Material Realities: Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa. London: Routledge, pp. 160183.
  15. Comaroff J, Comaroff JL, , 1993. Modernity and its Malcontents: Ritual and Power in Postcolonial Africa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  16. Geschiere P, , 1988. Sorcery and the state: popular modes of action among the Maka of Southeast Cameroon. Crit Anthropol 8: 3563.[Crossref]
  17. Geschiere P, , 1997. The Modernity of Witchcraft: Politics and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa. Charlottesville, NC: University Press of Virginia.
  18. Shaw R, Moore H, Sanders T, , 2001. Cannibal transformations: colonialism and commodification in the Sierra Leone hinterland. , eds. Magical Interpretations, Material Realities: Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa. London: Routledge, pp. 5070.
  19. Tonda J, , 2006. Le diable fetichiste sorcellaire en societé postcoloniale. Cahiers Gabonais d'Anthropologie 17: 19821994.
  20. Tonda J, , 2011. Pentecôtisme et “contentieux matériel” transnational en Afrique centrale. La magie du système capitaliste. Soc Compass 58: 4260.[Crossref]
  21. Soiron M, Tonda J, , 2006. Le Souverain moderne. Le corps du pouvoir en Afrique centrale (Congo, Gabon). Cahiers d'études africaines. Available at: http://etudesafricaines.revues.org/6274. Accessed Febuary 12, 2014.
  22. Barnard A, Spencer J, , ed, 2002. Witchcraft and sorcery. Encyclopaedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology. London: Taylor and Francis Group, pp. 562564.
  23. Peeters Grietens K, Toomer E, Um Boock A, Hausmann-Muela S, Peeters H, Kanobana K, Gryseels C, Muela Ribera J, , 2012. What role do traditional beliefs play in treatment seeking and delay for Buruli ulcer disease?–Insights from a mixed methods study in Cameroon. PLoS ONE 7: e36954.[Crossref]
  24. White O, , 2005. Networking: freemasons and the colonial state in French West Africa, 1895–1914. Fr Hist 19: 91111.[Crossref]
  25. Gardinier DE, , 2000. France and Gabon since 1993: the reshaping of a neo-colonial relationship. J Contemp Afr Stud 18: 225242.[Crossref]
  26. Ngolet F, , 2000. Ideological manipulations and political longevity: the power of Omar Bongo in Gabon since 1967. Afr Stud Rev 43: 5571.[Crossref]
  27. Weiss B, Lambeck M, Strathern A, , 1998. Electric vampires: haya rumors on the commodified body. , eds. Bodies and Persons: Comparative Perspectives from Africa and Melanesia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 172196.[Crossref]
  28. White L, , 1993. Cars out of place: vampires, technology, and labor in east and central Africa. Representations (Berkeley) 43: 2750.[Crossref]
  29. White L, , 1995. “They could make their victims dull”: genders and genres, fantasies and cures in colonial southern Uganda. Am Hist Rev 100: 13791402.[Crossref]
  30. TDR - Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases/World Health Organization, 2007. Ethical challenges in study design and informed consent for health research in resource-poor settings. TDR/SDR/SEB/ST/07.1. Special topics No. 5. WHO TDR.
  31. White L, , 2000. Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa. Berkeley, CA: California University Press.
  32. Scheper-Hughes N, , 1996. Theft of life: organ stealing rumors. Anthropol Today 12: 310.[Crossref]
  33. Kaler A, , 2009. Health interventions and the persistence of rumor: the circulation of sterility stories in African public health campaigns. Soc Sci Med 68: 17111719.[Crossref]
  34. Chapman R, Chikotsa D, , 2006. Secrets, silence, and hiding: social risk and reproductive vulnerability in central Mozambique. Med Anthropol Q 20: 487515.[Crossref]
  35. Dugger CW, McNeil D, , 2006. Rumor, Fear and Fatigue Hinder Final Push to End Polio. New York: New York Times.
  36. Feldman-Savelsberg P, , 1999. Plundered Kitchens, Empty Wombs: Threatened Reproduction and Identity in the Cameroon Grass Fields. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.[Crossref]
  37. Feldman-Savelsberg P, Ndonko F, Schmidt-Ehry B, , 2000. Sterilizing vaccines or the politics of the womb: retrospective study of a rumor in Cameroon. Med Anthropol Q 14: 159179.[Crossref]
  38. Hardon A, Ember C, Ember M, , 2004. Immunization: global programs, local acceptance and resistance. , eds. Encyclopaedia of Medical Anthropology. New York: Kluwer, pp. 262268.[Crossref]
  39. Kaler A, , 2004. The moral lens of population control: condoms and controversies in southern Malawi. Stud Fam Plann 35: 105115.[Crossref]
  40. Moore H, Sanders T, , editors, 2002. Magical Interpretations, Material Realities: Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa. London: Routledge.
  41. Belmont Report, 1979. Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research. Report of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. Available at: http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/belmont.html. Accessed February 12, 2014.
  42. Nuffield Council of Bioethics, 2002. The Ethics of Research Related to Healthcare in Developing Countries. Available at: http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/research-developing-countries. Accessed January 10, 2014.
  43. Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS), 2002. International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects. Available at: http://www.cioms.ch/publications/layout_guide2002.pdf. Accessed January 10, 2014.
  44. Kessel M, , 2013. Opinion: diagnostics needed. resource-limited countries are in desperate need of better diagnostic tests for life-threatening illnesses. The Scientist. Available at: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/33929/title/Opinion–Diagnostics-Needed/. Accessed 10 Jan 2014.
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.13-0630
Loading
  • Received : 29 Oct 2013
  • Accepted : 28 Feb 2014

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error