Una Enfermedad Monstruo begins with a medical mystery: in small communities throughout Venezuela's Delta Amacuro, Warao children are dying of a mysterious illness. The onset of symptoms, characterized by paralysis, is sudden, and death quickly follows. In the town of Nabasanuka, local political leaders Conrado and Enrique Moraleda Izco recognize that something is seriously wrong as more dying children arrive from different communities seeking medical treatment. Yet they find little response from regional health authorities, who refuse to believe there is an illness claiming lives in the Delta. Meantime, in another community in the same region, anthropologist Charles (Carlos) Briggs is working alongside traditional healer Tirso Gómez, nurse Norbelys Gómez, and epidemiologist Clara Mantini‐Briggs on a different project when they, too, encounter a series of mysterious deaths.As more and more people die and their requests for help continue to go unheard, Conrado and Enrique call on Clara and Charles to collaborate with them to find answers. Together, the newly formed research team—Conrado, Enrique, Tirso, Norbelys, Clara, and Carlos—develops a research methodology, combining Carlos’ ethnographic expertise and Clara's medical and epidemiological background with Tirso's knowledge of traditional medicine and Norbelys’, Conrado's, and Enrique's contacts in the local community. The six
Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Anthropology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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