Fear of Western Medicine

Last week, the New York Times published a curious op-ed entitled “Why Africa Fears Western Medicine,” by Harriet A. Washington. The piece was published days after the Libyan government’s release of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, who had been falsely accused of injecting hundreds of children with H.I.V., and then sentenced to death (the release was arranged, with much fanfare, via a $426 million ransom paid by European governments). Washington writes that “to dismiss the Libyan accusations of medical malfeasance out of hand means losing an opportunity to understand why a dangerous suspicion of medicine is so widespread in Africa.”

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Fear of Western Medicine

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