Tousignant, N; (2013) PHARMACY, MONEY AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN DAKAR. Africa, 83 (4). pp. 561-581. ISSN 0001-9720 DOI:

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Pharmacy students at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar must research and write a thesis to graduate. Thésards who took topics in analytical chemistry and toxicology describe their thesis work as a temporary opportunity to perform 'street-level' public health research that they regard as 'relevant' to the quality of people's lives. Expecting futures in the private commercial sector, thésards regretfully leave the thesis behind. This article explores the parenthetical nature of this moment - its brief openings and more durable closures - as part of the history of ways of being a pharmacist in post-colonial Senegal. The thesis as an interlude in students' biographies, curtailed by narrowed horizons of expectation, evokes other contractions: in the range of professional roles open to Senegalese pharmacists, and in the circuits of public health with which they might engage. For thésards, fieldwork, government work and commercial work entail spatial practices and imaginations; different ways of moving around the city and of tracing urban space that define pharmacists' roles in terms of the modes through which they engage with broader collectivities. Mapping thésards' parenthesis in Dakar is a means of capturing both their urban experience of work and the intertwining spatial, temporal and affective dimensions associated with this work. The past, probable and possible trajectories of pharmacy work are imprinted and imagined in the space of the city as field, market and polis. Pharmacists' prospects and aspirations are caught up in broader shifts in how education, (un)employment and entrepreneurship animate relations of association and exchange in Senegal. Abstract available from the publisher.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
PubMed ID: 26321762


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