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[Perspectives] An anthropology of aid in Africa

We have been working as medical anthropologists in Mozambique for more than two decades. On a recent trip, we visited several large clinics in central Mozambique where HIV/AIDS first surged 20 years ago. In a health centre in a poor peri-urban bairro in Chimoio, a maternal and child health (MCH) nurse was tasked with the impossible job of providing most of the antenatal, maternity, labour and delivery, child-at-risk, and well child care since the other nurses were out sick or on leave. Filing cabinets were falling apart so patient records could not be properly archived.