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Beyond Surgery – Injury, Healing, and Religion at an Ethiopian Hospital - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Beyond Surgery: Injury, Healing, and Religion at an Ethiopian Hospital

Anita Hannig


Over the past few decades, maternal childbirth injuries have become a potent symbol of Western biomedical intervention in Africa, affecting over one million women across the global south. Western-funded hospitals have sprung up, offering surgical sutures that ostensibly allow women who suffer from obstetric fistula—a birthing injury that leads to chronic incontinence—to return to their communities in full health. Journalists, NGO staff, celebrities, and some physicians have crafted a stock narrative around this injury, depicting afflicted women as victims of a backwards culture who have their ... More

Keywords: maternal health, obstetric fistula, biomedicine, hospital, surgery, structural violence, Western aid, culture, Christianity, Ethiopia, ethnography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226457154
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226457321.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anita Hannig, author
Brandeis University