Neglected tropical diseases show how a disease group can be formed to compete in the global health policy marketplace. The naming and branding of a new disease category is used to organize activities, direct attention and resources, and rationalize the governance of diseases. The politics of classification involves processes of negotiation and conceptual development by key actors. Here, discussions about central characteristics, naming, and inclusion and exclusion criteria are rarely settled. Contradictions are present in the “tropical” and “neglected” characterizations, as well as choices of universalist rather than particularist approaches. Interacting with these considerations is a continued progression in means of dealing with disease from health actors and changing attributes of diseases in populations.
Creating a New Disease Grouping
Complicating the Medieval Leper through Gender and Social Status
Christina Welch and Rohan Brown
In Leprosy in Medieval England , Carole Rawcliffe argued that leprosy was a disease that “played a notable part in the medieval imagination and was accorded significance far beyond the physical threat it actually posed to the population.” 1 The
EU cooperation with ASEAN and the African Union
English abstract: This last decade, regional organizations progressively became unavoidable actors of regional health governance and have been supported by some global health actors to strengthen such a role. Among these actors, the European Union (EU) is the only regional organization that implements health initiatives in cooperation with its regional counterparts. This article focuses on such “health interregionalism” toward Southeast Asia and Africa and in the field of communicable diseases, with the main objective of assessing its nature and identifying its main functions. It concludes that although appreciated and needed, the EU’s health interregionalism should better reflect the EU’s experience in regional health governance in order to represent a unique instrument of development aid and an added value for regional organizations.
Spanish abstract: En el último decenio, las organizaciones regionales se han convertido progresivamente en actores inevitables de la gobernanza regional de la salud, recibiendo el apoyo de actores mundiales para fortalecer esa función. Entre éstos, la Unión Europea (UE) es la única organización regional que implementa iniciativas de salud en cooperación con sus contrapartes regionales. Este artículo se centra en este ““interregionalismo en salud”” hacia el sudeste asiático y África y en el ámbito de las enfermedades transmisibles, con el objetivo de evaluar su naturaleza e identificar sus principales funciones. Concluye que el interregionalismo en salud de la UE debería reflejar mejor su experiencia en materia de gobernanza regional de la salud, al representar un instrumento único de ayuda al desarrollo y un valor añadido para las organizaciones regionales.
French abstract: Au cours de la dernière décennie, les organisations régionales sont progressivement devenues des acteurs incontournables de la gouvernance régionale de la santé et ont été soutenues par certains acteurs mondiaux. Parmi ces acteurs, l’Union européenne (UE) est la seule organisation régionale qui mette en oeuvre des initiatives en matière de santé en coopération avec ses homologues régionaux. L’article se concentre sur cet «interrégionalisme en matière de santé» vers l’Asie du Sud-Est et l’Afrique dans le domaine des maladies transmissibles, afin d’évaluer sa nature et d’identifier ses principales fonctions. Il conclut que, bien qu’apprécié et nécessaire, l’interrégionalisme devrait mieux refléter l’expérience de l’UE en matière de gouvernance de santé régionale afin de représenter un instrument unique d’aide au développement et une valeur ajoutée pour les organisations régionales.
Agnes G. Loeffler
This article offers an analysis of two medical case histories presented by an Iranian allopathic physician to illustrate the power of diet in the management of disease. Uncovering underlying cultural assumptions about health and health maintenance strategies leads to the following insights: (1) Galenic medical ideas have not been replaced by allopathic theories in the world view of Iranian physicians; (2) allopathic medical treatment options (pharmaceuticals) are applied to indigenous disease categories; (3) there is deep-seated scepticism about etiologic theories of allopathic medicine and its ability to treat certain conditions; (4) the authority of allopathic medicine is not unquestioned in Iran.
Divergent Perceptions of Illnesses and Their Symptoms
Mohamed Harakati, Faissal Shaheen, Hani Tamim, Saadi Taher, Adel Al. Qublan and Abdulla Al Sayyari
This cross-sectional survey study analyses the degree of concordance between Saudi patients and their nurses and physicians in four areas: (1) perceived causation of diseases and drivers of cure, (2) symptom ranking and perception, (3) views on social habits and traditional medicine, and (4) assessment of health care providers' empathy. The doctors and nurses were asked to predict their patients' responses to the survey. Significant divergence was found between the patients' responses and the health care providers' predictions. Cultural and background differences between the two groups, as well as a large educational gap, might account for this disparity. Such discordance could conceivably lead to wrong diagnoses being made, due to the different levels of importance that patients and doctors accord to symptoms.
Yagoub Yousif Al-Kandari
The rate of consanguineous marriage in Kuwait is considered to be high. Several research studies have shown that marriage among relatives is one of the major factors leading to health problems because it increases homozygosis. This article deals with both cultural and physical aspects by examining the health consequences of consanguineous marriages in Kuwait. Variables such as reproductive wastage, health problems in the offspring and infant mortality are included and measured in relation to other socio-cultural variables. Cultural variables such as the respondents' roots (Bedouin and non-Bedouin) and beliefs (Muslim Sunni and Muslim Shi'a) are also examined. The results show that there is no significant association between consanguineous and non-consanguineous marriages in the rate of abortion or the mortality of infants and children up to five years old. Finally, the data reveal significant differences between the genetic and genetic-environmental diseases in consanguineous couples' offspring and those of non-consanguineous couples. Since some of these findings contradict those of other studies, more research is needed.
Wind and Weather in Zulu Zionist Sensorial Experiences
picked up (cf. Ngubane 1977: 24–29) . These are the tracks ( umkhondo ) that dogs detect while hunting, and this cultural belief is shared with the neighboring Khoisan (cf. Low 2007: S75 ). Disease is mostly spoken of as umnyama (darkness) and is
The English conquest of Ireland during the sixteenth century was accompanied by extreme violence. Historians remain divided on the motivations behind this violence. This article argues that the English violence in Ireland may be attributed to four main factors: the fear of foreign Catholic intervention through Ireland; the methods by which Irish rebels chose to fight; decisions made by English officials in London to not fund English forces in Ireland at a reasonable level while demanding that English officials in Ireland keep Ireland under control; and the creation of a system by which many of those who made the plans never had to see the suffering they inflicted. The troops who carried out the plans had to choose between their own survival and moral behaviors that placed their survival at risk.
This article elaborates on the connection between hygiene/cleanliness and the bureaucratic control of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel. It discusses the role of stigmatisation in constructing immigrants' perceived backwardness and weakness, which necessitate guidance. The analysis also demonstrates the patronisation of immigrant women through inspection of their tidiness as mothers and housewives. The case of the Ethiopian immigrants, who began arriving in Israel at the beginning of the 1980s and still immigrate, will be used to suggest that the bureaucratic regulation of immigrants, rather than racism or cultural differentials, is behind the integration process. Moreover, the similarities between the absorption practices applied towards immigrants from Ethiopia and those from Muslim countries in the 1950s will be discussed in terms of the bureaucratic patronage over immigrants in Israel.
Discretion and hypertransparency in Chinese biosecurity
Katherine A. Mason
that xenophobia had reigned over reason ( Metzl 2009 ; Stolberg and Robinson 2009 ). In this article I examine Tianmai’s disease control response in the context of a global post-SARS political aesthetic that established the free and transparent sharing