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Malnutrition in a Modernising Economy: The Changing Aetiology and Epidemiology of Malnutrition in an African Kingdom, Buganda c.1940–73

  • John Nott
Abstract

The ecological fecundity of the northern shore of Lake Victoria was vital to Buganda’s dominance of the interlacustrine region during the pre-colonial period. Despite this, protein-energy malnutrition was notoriously common throughout the twentieth century. This paper charts changes in nutritional illness in a relatively wealthy, food-secure area of Africa during a time of vast social, economic and medical change. In Buganda at least, it appears that both the causation and epidemiology of malnutrition moved away from the endemic societal causes described by early colonial doctors and became instead more defined by individual position within a rapidly modernising economy.

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*Email address for correspondence: j.d.nott@leeds.ac.uk
References
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78. Kuhanen, op. cit. (note 1), 343.

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108. Hutton, Caroline, Reluctant Farmers? A Study of Unemployment and Planned Rural Development in Uganda (Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1973), 3940.

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111. Roscoe, John, The Baganda: An Account of Their Native Customs and Beliefs (London: Macmillan, 1911), 12.

112. Christine Partington, Report of SCF Organiser on her Activities for the Period March 23rd–June 11th 1959, For the Executive Committee of the Uganda Children’s Welfare Society, RH/ODRP/MSS.Afr.S.1872 Box XXVIII.

113. Southall, op. cit. (note 107), 224.

114. A.W. Southall and P.C.W. Gutkind, Townsmen in the Making: Kampala and its Suburbs (Kampala: East African Institute of Social Research, 1957), 51–63, 136–40; Elizabeth Mandeville, ‘Poverty, Work and the Financing of Single Women in Kampala’, Africa, 49 (1977), 47–9; Iliffe, African Poor, op. cit. (note 18), 238.

115. Musisi, Nakanyije B., ‘Baganda women’s night market activities’, in Cornwall, Andrea (ed.), Readings in Gender in Africa (Oxford: James Currey, 2005), 134.

116. Iliffe, African Poor, op. cit. (note 18), 183; Southall and Gutkind, op. cit. (note 114), 77.

117. Lwanga, C., ‘Abortion in Mulago Hospital, Kampala’, East African Medical Journal, 54 (1977), 147148.

118. Tamusange, Shem Y.L., ‘Up-Country Paediatrics: Mbale, Uganda’, The Makerere Medical Journal, 7 (1964), 28.

119. Uganda, Census, 1969, op. cit. (note 38).

120. Bennett and Stanfield, op. cit. (note 33), 4.

121. Wrigley, Crops and Wealth, op. cit. (note 24), 79.

122. Mafeje and Richards, op. cit. (note 74), 190.

123. Musoke, op. cit. (note 35), 305.

124. Iliffe, African Poor, op. cit. (note 18), 4–6.

125. ‘Infantile Malnutrition Research Unit: Progress Report, January 1962’, PRO/FD/12/273.

I would like to thank Shane Doyle for all of his advice regarding this paper as well as the thesis upon which it is based. Thanks also to the anonymous reviewers and the editor for their comments on the previous versions of this article.

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