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Stefan Beck Gisela Welz

Abstract

Cyprus has one of the highest incidences in the world of the mutations that cause thalassaemia. A very successful prevention programme was developed since the 1970s which deployed genetic screening of couples of reproductive age to reduce the number of thalassaemic children born. Against the backdrop of a personal account given by Dr. Minas Hadjiminas who is credited with starting the programme, the author inquires into post-colonial society as a context for epidemiological interventions. The article explores both socio-cultural and medical reasons for the success of the prevention programme. It argues that the civic epistemology of post-colonial Cyprus allowed for the medical profession to establish a paternalistic regime ‘for the common good’ that was also motivated by a strong ‘love for the people of Cyprus’ on the part of the medical practitioners.

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Keywords

thalassaemia, prevention, Cyprus, biomedical platforms, civic epistemology

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