Between 2007 and 2008, a mysterious disease killed 10 percent of the population of a small village in the Amacuro Delta region of Venezuela. Its victims were mostly young children and all were indigenous Warao. The disease appeared to have a 100 percent case fatality rate, but local healers, clinic doctors, and even regional medical facilities could not immediately determine its cause. Symptoms included fever, inability to swallow, and gushing, uncontrollable saliva. As the death toll increased throughout 2007, community members Conrado and Enrique Moraleda, recruited the book's authors to help determine the cause of the disease, which was eventually identified as rabies. Tell Me Why My Children Died: Rabies, Indigenous Knowledge, and Communicative Justice constitutes the narratives of key players in this outbreak: parents, medical professionals, epidemiologists, and journalists in an effort to understand how communicative processes reified health disparities for the Warao as indigenous people. The authors propose a term, “health/communicative inequities,” to describe the disparate treatment of the disenfranchised in health knowledge and medical interactions, and simultaneous privileging of medical, political, media, and other nonindigenous discourses in diagnosing and reporting about disease and its determinants.Compelling here is the use of nonsequential narrative structure to map the
Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Anthropology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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