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5. Providing malaria treatment: Different forms of healthcare in Uganda 109 and health-seeking does not do justice to the often context-related approaches to healthcare and highly individualized experiences of illness. Self-medication and individualized conceptions of health Healthcare, against the common assumption, does not start with a doctor’s ad- vice or the administration of drugs, but begins at the individual level. It is here that healthcare and health-related activities are usually initiated and evaluated, and where choices regarding the consultation

Interdisziplinäre Betrachtungen
Heilmittel und Gifte der Literatur
Series: Lettre

infor- mation on prospective behavioural patterns of web users: “A study publishing this month used machine learning to predict with 80 to 90 percent accuracy whether or not someone will attempt suicide, as far off as two years in the future. Using anonymized electronic health records from two million patients in Tennessee, researchers at Florida State University trained algorithms to learn which combina- tion of factors, from pain medication prescriptions to number of ER visits each year, best predicted an attempt on one’s own life.” (Molten 2017) Learning

The Political Ecology of Malaria44 use. In contrast, microscopic slides are cheap to produce and can be reused count- less times. Regardless of these drawbacks RDTs are generally recommended by the WHO and other international health bodies as a diagnostic tool for malaria in- fections in areas where microscopic blood analysis is not available. In the context of increasing parasite resistance against the most common and cheap antimalari- al medication, the issuing of medicines based on clinical diagnosis alone has been proscribed in many countries, including

involve, for example, that (vulnerable) individuals are increasingly exposed to advertising taking advantage of their situation. High-interest loans for individuals classified as low income are one possibility. But more recent developments, such as Amazon’s patented voice analysis technology for detecting sickness or depres- sion, also enable insights into users’ physical and mental health – resulting in advertising for medication and health-related products (Brodkin 2018). 2 At the time of the article’s publication, the author was employed at Facebook Inc

to the company’s medical centre. While in Egger’s fictional work the idea of a fully quantified and numerical body presages a dystopian society of control, contemporary quan- tified self enthusiasts are tempted by the possibilities of the surveyed body. Thus, joggers can keep track of their accomplishments, snorers can monitor their sleep, and chronically ill patients can readjust their medication. “Self- knowledge through numbers” became the mantra of the emerging commu- nities of self-trackers (cf. Lupton 2014), and quantified self, lifelogging, and personal

parasite resistance against common, cheap, and once highly effective antimalarial medication, as well as the constraints of healthcare provision in many low-income countries, increasingly complicate the treatment of malaria. Nonetheless, the chances of successfully curing an uncomplicated, clinical malaria infection in East Africa are still fairly good. Patients usually do not have to be admitted for in-patient care in a hospital, health ward, or private practice, and can apply a three-day cure with a combination of antimalarial drugs at home, typically in the

activities. Another outcome area for the individual impact assessed by the stud- ies was ‘health.’ The studies that identified successful results from in- corporating art activities into the health care environment investigated aspects of improving mental and physical health by reducing stress, anx- iety, symptoms of depression, the need for care services, and medication, and by increasing the odds of survival. Also, as previously described, most health studies looked specifically at the effects of arts engagement on elderly and adult populations. For example, in 2011

The Political Ecology of Malaria138 While the treatment costs of 20,000/= UGX for an uncomplicated malaria case can pose a considerable financial obstacle for many households, the 150,000/= shillings that are to be paid to cure a complicated malaria infection are a serious economic setback for most smallholders and petty traders. In order to avoid costs for medication, patients often seek for cheaper treatment first, before they opt for the expensive biomedical healthcare options. As I have outlined in chapter five, the way through the jungle of healthcare