IDSB04 - Ch.14
Doing International Health
There are various ways of thinking about work in int health: - Learning adventure for well
meaning minority-world professionals and students travelling to underdeveloped settings? -
Humanitarian/technical assistance from developed to underdeveloped countries - Mutual
cooperation to improve health
Transformative process for all involve hopeful realism *pessimism of the intellect, optimism of
the will? - intellectually analyse the situation at hand, and get ungreat results, BUT things
change because ppl hold on to hope and get things done
• *be aware of history -int health today is marked by the history of past activities -after
colonies gained independence in the 19th and 20th centuries these unequal relationships
persisted: bona fida coop among countries for the most part took a back seat to more
~ in the present we continuously need to keep in mind the troubling possibility that even
the most well-intentioned & informed int health endeavour may perpetuate in equalities in power
across the world.
• One way diffusionist model from high to low income nations?
• Those in more powerful countries have monopoly on necessary knowledge expertise and
resources to improve situations for poor?
• Motivations no longer primarily based on self-interest?
Practising International Health
• operates at 3 levels 1.) motivations & actions of indi 2.) missions & interventions of
organizations 3.) logic & structures of the world order
1. Individual level
• Personal Motivations Box14-2: desire for broader perspective on public health, desire to
improve clinical skills, idealism (wish to counter mainstream efforts & change the world)-
challenge- curiosity - charity
• “global health tourism” -primary focus not entertainment however its there - based on
generosity & helping ppl is illusory, especially when help has not been sought - indeed
most ppl who undertake a health related work/ volunteer experience in another country
find the greatest benefit to themselves - such expeditions do more harm than good,
leaving behind no capacity for follow up & applying band-aids to the problem
• The bulk of int health work is carried out by locals