Speaker: Dr Julie Parle (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Title: The okapi, the wolf, the fellow, and the baboons: thalidomide in South Africa, 1956-1976
Abstract: Responsible for ‘the world’s worst and most poignant medical disaster’, thalidomide was first formally marketed on 1 October 1957, in West Germany. Instructions for its withdrawal were issued 49 months later, by which time thalidomide-containing products had reached more than 50 countries across the world, including 18 in Africa. Following a pharmaceutical okapi, and via fragmentary histories – those of a man called Wolf, a WHO Travelling Fellow, and several hundred baboons – I focus on the surprising presence and uses of thalidomide in South Africa, 1950s to 1970s. I suggest that tales of this teratogen may be of significance for widening global histories of this drug and for those of medical science and the state in South Africa in the twentieth century.
Conveners: Professor Rob Iliffe, Dr Sloan Mahone, Dr Erica Charters, Dr Roderick Bailey, Dr Atsuko Naono
When: Monday 16th October at 16:00, coffee available from 15:30 in Common Room
More information: http://www.wuhmo.ox.ac.uk/termly-seminars