18. maj 2020

Chronic Living in a Communicable World

Front page Medical Anthropology 39 2020Professor MSO Ayo Wahlberg, the Department of Anthropology, has contributed to the journal ‘Medical Anthropology’ with the article ‘Chronic Living in a Communicable World’. The piece is co-written with Lenore Manderson who is distinguished professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

The article discusses the consequences of the COVID-19 lockdowns for people living with chronic conditions. As health authorities advise such people to self-isolate because they are at particular risk of serious complications and death, the epidemiological split between communicable and noncommunicable disease is tenuous.

The authors argue that much more is at stake for people living with (multiple) medical conditions than being ‘at risk’ of infection of coronavirus. Consequently, they emphasise the need to attend to the long-term effects of COVID-19, stressing the importance of the continued care of people living with other lifelong medical conditions.

As they write in their conclusing remarks: “Unless concerted efforts are made, 2020 will not only be remembered for the deaths caused by COVID-19, the overstretched healthcare systems and the mass unemployment caused by national lockdowns, but also for the collateral consequences for persons living with (multiple) long-term medical conditions.”

There is open access to the article at the website of ‘Medical Anthropology – Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness’.