The Healthcare Standard

Opinion: It’s Time To End The Colonial Mindset In Global Health

Today, the field of “global health” strives to create equitable and just relationships between wealthy and impoverished regions, places and peoples. But it is still a field with markedly unequal power dynamics: racism, classism and many of the residual exploitations of a terrible colonial past. I fear that this point often goes missed or ignored, possibly because we are subconsciously or consciously engaged in a neocolonial narrative in which wealthy people are “saving” poor people even as they build their own careers.

It is not a relationship in which Western visitors and local people are collaborating equally — or perhaps even more appropriately, where local leaders take the dominant role.

I’m currently doing a diploma course in tropical medicine. There were lectures on AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis treatment and on noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension in Africa,


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