Introduction: Chemical Multitudes
1 Alubo quotes a government report, which states the symptoms begin “with fever,
vomiting and diarhoea which were usually treated for malaria at the opd (Out Pa-
tients Department) or at home and in most cases, the patient has a period of con-
valescence with a relapse of fever, this time with Anuria (complete suppression of
urinary secretion) . . . just before the children die they would swell up (particularly
abdomen, face and the limbs) bleed from the mouth and anus, become dyspnoic
(laboured breathing)” (qtd. in Alubo 1994, 99, parentheses in original, ellipsis in
2 Although the federal government considered the possibility of hemorrhagic fever,
it decided it would also test the drugs that had been administered to the children.
Samples were sent to university teaching hospitals located in the cities of Jos
(Plateau State) and Ibadan (Oyo State) and also to the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, in Atlanta, Georgia.
3 Th anks to Jeremy Greene for directing and helping me think through these histo-
ries alongside Th e Th ird Man.
4 In a publication of the United Nations Industrial Development Or ga ni za tion,
Charles Wambebe and Nelson Ochekpe indicate that these fi gures vary widely:
“The estimated market for prescription ethical pharmaceuticals is US$ 500
million and that for over the counter (otc) pharmaceuticals about US$ 900 mil-
lion. Furthermore, Th e Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers
Association of Nigeria estimates the Nigerian market for biological products (includ-
ing vaccines, insulin, interferon, etc.) to be worth about US$ 100 million. In addi-
tion, related health care and lifestyle products account for about US$ 500 million”
(2011, 11). Th e authors contrast this data with the following: “Business intelligence
ser vices estimate the pharmaceutical market in Nigeria at US$ 600 million . . .
for 2009. Out of this fi gure, bmi [Business Monitor International] attributes the
largest share of US $418 million to generic medicines, US$ 121 million to over the
counter (otc) products and US$ 61 million to patented products. Frost & Sullivan
estimated a pharmaceutical market value of US$ 740 million in 2009. Out of this
fi gure, US$ 266.4 million were attributed to generic medicines, US$ 177.6 million
to branded products and US$ 296 million to otc products” (2007, 11).