The Tuk-tuk Nurse/Midwife in Egypt

Despite the problematic aspects of this video—especially its developmentalist discourse that is couched in a dichotomy that values modernity, Western-dominated biomedicine, and the epistemic authority of medical practitioners over ‘tradition’ in health systems and in the lifestyles and purported ‘ignorance’ of the patients—I find the unspoken-of overlapping and reversing of structures and processes interesting. The tuk-tuk, or rickshaw, a public means of transportation, becomes a makeshift ambulance bringing the nurse, rather than patients, to the houses and homes of patients, which in turn become a makeshift examination room. Similar processes occur in Egypt, wherein doctors, nurses, and pharmacists use their off-clinic hours (or in-pharmacy work hours) for medical counseling through house visitations. This blurs the strict, ideological spatial classification that attempts to amputate the public from the private, and the medical from the social and historical.

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