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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Midwifery Training and Female Circumcision in the Inter-War Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Author:Bell, Heather
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Sudan
Women's Issues
Health and Nutrition
History and Exploration
Labor and Employment
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Cultural Roles
Genital Circumcision/Cuttings/Surgeries
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/183600
Abstract:Contrary to the popular vision, most practitioners of Western medicine in Africa during the colonial period were non-Europeans. In Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, it was most often Syrian, Egyptian and Sudanese doctors, and Sudanese assistant medical officers, mosquito men, nurses, sanitary officers and midwives who delivered sanitary and medical services on behalf of the colonial State. This article examines one such group of medical practitioners through a study of the Midwifery Training School (MTS), openend in Omdurman in 1921. The MTS sought to create a class of modern, trained Sudanese midwives, out of, and in rivalry to, an entrenched class of traditional midwives, known as 'dayas'. The article discusses the foundation of the MTS, the recruitment and training of pupils, Sudanese responses, and the government's handling of the controversial matter of female circumcision. It shows that the interaction between traditional and Western medicine, and between Sudanese and British cultures engendered by midwifery training and practice was highly complex and constantly being negotiated. While midwifery training incorporated the British women who ran the MTS and Sudanese midwives into the work of the colonial State, they remained to some extent marginalized, and were denied authority and remuneration. Notes, ref., sum.