Oct 8, 2008

JNU SYLFF Fellow Publishes a Book Entitled Tuberculosis in India: A Political Ecology Approach

SYLFF fellow from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in India, Dr. Bikramaditya Choudhary, has published a book, Tuberculosis in India: A Political Ecology Approach (Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, 2008). Dr. Choudhary received a SYLFF fellowship in 2003 for his Ph.D. study at JNU. Abstract of the book is as follows:

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease, which is responsible for the greatest numbers of deaths worldwide. In India, TB was identified as an infectious disease in 1902 at British Congress on Tuberculosis. Since then it continues to be the major killer. The colonial government was not able to finance sanatoria unless established by private benevolent efforts. Initially, the forested and hilly regions were free from the disease. However, the establishment of sanatoria led to the spread of tuberculosis in these regions as well. The two dominant streams of studying disease and health viz., disease ecology (identifying ecological factors behind prevalence of disease in a particular ecological space) and health services research (studying inequalities in health care delivery system in a political economy framework) have emerged as independent disciplines with hardly any overlapping zones. The broad aim of the present work is to integrate these two approaches in the study of prevalence of tuberculosis in India. It also examines the variation in disease prevalence over geographical space and analyse treatment seeking process among various ecological and other spaces. Further, the study moves beyond the Marxist political economy paradigm of studying health in a larger structural perspective and incorporates individual accounts and experience of the disease as well.

The book is expected to be useful for health professionals, planners and policy-makers, who are skeptical of taking the view of patients into decision making process. This book will be useful to all those who want to understand the disease in broader perspective beyond biomedical realm and are willing to accept the role of historical, ecological, political, social and cultural factors (which are beyond quantification) rather than reverting to the practice of “victim blaming”.

Choudhary, Bikramaditya Kumar, Tuberculosis in India: A Political Ecology Approach (Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, 2008). ISBN: 978-3-639-01306-1

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Theoretical Framework of Political Ecology of Disease

3. Disease Ecology in India: An Historical and Contemporary Perspective

4. Pattern of Prevalence of Tuberculosis in India

5. Disease History and Perception of Tuberculosis Patients

6. Conclusions 7. Bibliography