In January 2007, Egypte/Monde Arabe will publish a special issue on health and medicine in Egypt. Egypte/Monde Arabe which comes out twice a year, is a social sciences journal intended for professional researchers as well as for an audience of non-specialists who are yearning to be given keys to understand the tensions and changes shaping the Arab Islamic contemporary world, and Egypt in particular. Each issue concentrates on a specific topic. Egypte/Monde Arabe is edited by Cedej (Centre d’Etudes et de Documentation Economiques et Juridiques), a French research institute in social sciences located in Cairo.
This call for proposals aims at gathering research work on social sciences in the broad sense on the issues of Health, Disease and Medicine in Egypt, from what is generally agreed upon as the birth of the modern nation, with Mohammed Ali Pasha’s advent, to the present times. This Egypte/Monde Arabe is striving to show the diversity of forces involved in health phenomena and to hint at the interlinking of the various factors that influence the citizens’ health and their own representations of the ailments that strike them.
Owing to the interdisciplinary bias, this issue of Egypte/Monde Arabe intends to tackle complementary aspects in an eclectic way. It will not attempt to endeavor an exhaustive overview on Egypt health situation. It aims at displaying various entries on Health in Egypt, reflecting works in progress, and at providing analysis on the working of society and the health system, through particular instances.
Theoretically, the scheduled issue should make room for morbidity and mortality assessment trials in Egypt, a country which has carried out censuses through more than a century, and for the debates over existing statistics. It should sketch a history of the health’s government, including the history of health welfare, in the global context of the rise of private insurances. It will pay particular attention to representations of health and disease, and of the normal and pathological, which prevail within different social groups, and to the interpretative ways of thinking they implement. These logics are often marked by holism in so far as they refer to the ecosystem (pollution, environmental changes), to the forces of the spiritual world or to the macrocosm and emphasize mind/body relationship. The medical pluralism that prevails in most societies and fosters elsewhere a whole range of therapeutic itineraries exists in Egypt, with specific features linked to the context of local health system and the intellectual and material resources that are available. The communication of information on health issues is a main concern too. Rumors are propagated among the population, originating or not from the media which act as intermediates with medical and political powers judged inaccessible and they point to people’s mistrust. The analysis of controversies, or health scandals, on a long-term scale, should shed light on the public’s numerous frustrations, on the inadequacies of education in the field of health and on the deficiencies in the patient/medical staff relationships.
The Egyptian pathology includes diseases rooted in the history of the country such as trachoma, the “Egyptian ophthalmic disease”, and schistosomiasis. It also includes other epidemics such as plague, cholera, typhus, rinderpest and malaria which have marked the history of the country and are linked to the socio-economical context. The perception of their link to socio-economical circumstance has probably greatly fluctuated with time. The issue of Egypte/Monde Arabe won’t overlook “invisible” pathologies such as AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, or those more visible such as hepatitis C which has been for these last years a social tragedy and raised a dilemma for the authorities, directly challenged on their responsibilities in the birth and the development of the epidemics.
This special issue of Egypte/Monde Arabe should provide a sketch of both material and symbolic cultures of Health in Egypt.
Issue number 10 will be published in January 2007. Proposals for articles (500 words) must be received by 1 March 2006 at the email addresses of the three coordinators of the special issue. The texts written, in French or in English, are to be sent to the same persons by 1 May 2006 at the latest. Texts should not exceed 50,000 characters (spaces and footnotes included). They will be submitted for assessment to the coordinators of the special issue and to the editorial board. This assessment may bring out critical remarks; modified texts must be addressed by the authors, who are responsible for revisions.
Coordinators: Anne-Marie Moulin (Moulin@cedej.org.eg) Souad Radi (S.Radi@link.net) Matthieu Fintz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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