The People s Hospital
266 pages
English

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266 pages
English
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Durban's McCord Hospital, this book argues, is one of the most important hospitals of the twentieth century. Founded 'for the Zulu' in 1909 by American Christian missionaries, Dr James B. McCord and Margaret Mellen McCord, for more than a century it was a centre of affordable health care for the under privileged of many faiths, cultures and political persuasions. It also pioneered the training of black nurses, midwives and doctors and was supported by prominent figures such as John L. Dube and Chief Albert Luthuli.

It initially faced, however, strong opposition from white factions in Durban and, by the 1960s was directly targeted for closure by South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd himself. McCords survived in part because apartheid forces did not understand that for several generations and for many communities, it had come to be a 'people's hospital'. This identity would help carry it through to the early twenty-first century with the conviction and courage, when necessary, to stand up against the State when its policies threatened the health of all South Africa's people.

This is a history of the religious, health, medical and political contexts of Natal and South Africa from the late 1800s to the 1970s. There are many stories of important firsts and milestones, but what emerges is more than simply a straightforward tale of heroism and triumph. Instead, we tell multiple stories of struggles, successes, failures, frustrations, sacrifices, and how, on occasion, difficult choices and compromises had to be made.


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Publié par
Date de parution 09 août 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781991225696
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 24 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,15€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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THE PEOPLE’S HOSPITAL Julie Parle & Vanessa Noble
DURBAN’S McCORD HOSPITAL, this book argues, is one of the most
important hospitals of the twentieth century. Founded ‘for the Zulu’ in 1909
by American Christian missionaries, Dr James B. McCord and Margaret
Mellen McCord, for more than a century it was a centre of aff ordable
health care for the under privileged of many faiths, cultures and political
persuasions. It also pioneered the training of black nurses, midwives and THE PEOPLE’S HOSPITAL
doctors and was supported by prominent fi gures such as John L. Dube and
Chief Albert Luthuli.
It initially faced, however,
strong opposition from
white factions in Durban A History of McCords, Durban, 1890s–1970s
and, by the 1960s was
directly targeted for
closure by South African
Prime Minister Hendrik
Verwoerd himself. McCords survived in part because
apartheid forces did not understand that for several
generations and for many communities, it had come
to be a ‘people’s hospital’. This identity would help
carry it through to the early twenty-fi rst century with
the conviction and courage, when necessary, to stand
up against the State when its policies threatened the
health of all South Africa’s people.
This is a history of the religious, health, medical and
political contexts of Natal and South Africa from the late 1800s to the 1970s. There are many
stories of important fi rsts and milestones, but what emerges is more than simply a straightforward
tale of heroism and triumph. Instead, we tell multiple stories of struggles, successes, failures,
frustrations, sacrifi ces, and how, on occasion, diffi cult choices and compromises had to be made.
‘[This book] is commendably rich in its presentation of the social history of McCords.’
— Howard Phillips, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Cape Town
‘The People’s Hospital represents ground-breaking and extremely well-informed research
… [This] is a fascinating and highly readable book … recommended to all interested in
South Africa’s past or specifi cally in the story of McCord Hospital.’ —Dr Helen Sweet,
Research Associate, Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford
Julie Parle is Honorary Professor of History at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, with publications
on the histories of medicine, madness, witchcraft, hysteria, hospitals, gender, emotions, and
archival ethics.
Vanessa Noble is a lecturer in Historical Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has
several publications on the histories of health and healing in South Africa.
Occasional Publications of
the Natal Society Foundation Julie Parle & Vanessa Noble
PIETERMARITZBURGTHE PEOPLE’S HOSPITAL:
A HISTORY OF McCORDS, DURBAN, 1890s–1970s

Julie Parle and Vanessa Noble
Occasional Publications of the Natal Society Foundation
PIETERMARITZBURG
2017The People’s Hospital: A History of McCords,
Durban, 1890s–1970s
© Julie Parle and Vanessa Noble 2017
Published in 2017 in Pietermaritzburg by the Trustees of the Natal Society Foundation under its
imprint ‘Occasional Publications of the Natal Society Foundation’.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or
by any means, without reference to the publishers, the trustees of the Natal Society Foundation,
Pietermaritzburg.
Natal Society Foundation website: http://www.natalia.org.za/
ISBN 978-0-9921766-9-3
Editor: Christopher Merrett
Proofreader: Cathy Rich Munro
Cartographer: Marise Bauer
Indexer: Christopher Merrett
Design & layout: Jo Marwick
Body text: Times New Roman 11pt
Front and footnotes: Times New Roman 9pt
Front cover: McCord Hospital: ward scene, c.1918 (PAR, A608, American Board of Missions
Collection, photograph C.5529); ‘The people’s hospital’ (Post (Natal edition) 24 February
1963). Back cover: The McCord Hospital emblem (CC, MHP, Boxes 7 and 8 (2007) – McCords
7 and 8, ALP, Series II: McCord Hospital Documents: Golden Jubilee 1909–1959: A Report on
McCord Zulu Hospital)CONTENTS
Abbreviations and acronyms
List of maps and fgures
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Chapter 1 ‘Bringing light to the nation?’: missionaries and
medicine in Natal and Zululand 1
Chapter 2 ‘Growing pains’: the Beatrice Street Dispensary,
the Cottage Hospital and the Mission Nursing Home,
1904–1919 27
Chapter 3 ‘A going concern’: McCord Hospital, 1920s–1940s 57
Chapter 4 ‘We were forced to improvise … and our difculties
multiplied’: expansion at McCord Hospital, 1940s–1960s 85
Chapter 5 ‘No one person is McCord Zulu Hospital’: a complex
Christian community of care 129
Chapter 6 Fighting ‘a good fght’: the ‘McCord family’ and the
struggle against apartheid, 1940s–1970s 167
Epilogue and conclusion 213
Bibliography 223
Index 233 ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
ABC American Board of Commissioners
ABM American Board of Missions
ACWC American Canadian Women’s Club
ALP Aldyth Lasbrey Papers, McCord Hospital Papers, Campbell
Collections, Durban
AME African Methodist Episcopal
ANC African National Congress
ARVs anti-retrovirals
AZM American Zulu Mission
BMA British Medical Association
CC Campbell Collections, Durban
CPS Civilian Protective Service
ICU Industrial and Commercial Workers Union
lb pound (weight)
KCAL Killie Campbell Africana Library, Durban
LRCP Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians
MB Mouldy Box, McCord Hospital Papers, Campbell Collections,
Durban
MDDoctor of Medicine
MHP McCord Hospital Papers and McCord History Project, Campbell
Collections, Durban
MRCS Member of the Royal College of Surgeons
MSCE Master of the Supreme Court
NAR National Archives Repository, Pretoria
NNRA Natal Native Reform Association
NPA Natal Provincial Administration
OPD out-patients department
PAR Pietermaritzburg Archive Repository
TB tuberculosis
UCCSA United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
UKZNMSA Medical School Archives, University of KwaZulu-Natal
VD venereal diseaseLIST OF MAPS AND FIGURES
Map 1 Natal
Map 2 Durban
Figure 1 Increase in patient numbers, 1935–1945 106
Figure 2 Total out-patient clinics, 1940–1979 107
Figure 3 Patient numbers, 1940–1979 109
Figure 4 Surgeries performed, 1940–1979 116
Figure 5 Maternity Department: live births and caesarean sections
performed, 1940–1979 118
Figure 6 Medical residents, 1940–1979 139
Figure 7 Honorary doctors, 1940–1979 140
Figure 8 Administrative staf, 1945–1979 149Map 1 NatalMap 2 DurbanPREFACE
When in 1909 Dr James McCord founded the little mission hospital on the hill,
the event mirrored the confuence of two myths: hope and service. I use the
term myth in a very guarded way as the springboard of passion-driven action.
Philosophers maintain that ideologies and beliefs are rooted in the stem cells
of mythology and that faith expresses the essence of things hoped for. Things
hoped for come to fruition because faith drives humans to passionate action.
The history of McCord Hospital thus becomes the history of hope realised.
McCord Hospital was more than a place of diagnosis and healing of the body.
It represented both an ideal and a practical demonstration of a community of
faith where medical care presented an entry point. Patients came to McCord
Hospital for physical and spiritual healing. Young African women came to
train as nurses of a special type, to give care and love. Beyond these primary
attributes, McCord Hospital pioneered the road to development, to take
Africans into the universe of humanity when the political system in operation
at the time believed that they were sub-human. The very physical location of
the hospital on the ridge, the border of Durban at the time, was a demonstration
of the boundaries between ‘civilisation’ and ‘heathenism’ as Africans did not
ft into the defnition of civilisation held by the powers that were.
For 105 years the people’s hospital, as McCords was popularly known,
bridged the gap between ‘civilisation’ and ‘backwardness’ giving care to the
underserved and training professional nurses and doctors. That was not the
end. In the 1950s, Alan Taylor, then Medical Superintendent, was instrumental
in the establishment of the University of Natal Medical School, the present
Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, which trained mainly African doctors
when places for training at the white established medical schools were almost
inaccessible to anyone other than white citizens. The residence where medical
students lived became the Alan Taylor Residence.
McCord Hospital continued to demonstrate practically the realisation of
things hoped for throughout its history of care. As recently as the outbreak of
the pandemic caused by HIV, the hospital typifed the evidence of things unseen
in the excellent programme at Sinikithemba, a place of hope. The change in
status of the hospital from Christian mission-driven to a public service marked
the end of an era. Readers of this book will walk through this long revealing
journey and appreciate the story of Christian service to humanity. Lastly, and defnitely by no means least, the community of McCord Hospital
wishes to express most sincere gratitu

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