Rethinking global health inequity in the prism of therapeutic and epistemic interventions for infectious disease control

Nordic Global Health Talks

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This talk is by Alexander Kagaha, University of Gothenburg

About the talk

In the struggle for equitable health futures, global health partnerships for epistemic and therapeutic interventions have become a common strategy for acting on infectious diseases that disrupt national boundaries. This includes the development of novel knowledge claims about the infectious disease-causing agents, interactions with the human population, and the development and distribution of therapeutic resources.

Yet in addition to the inequity that results from exposure to recurring outbreaks of new and re-emerging infectious diseases, another type of inequity emerges based on therapeutic and epistemic claims. Here, the intervention logic itself emerges as basis for health injustices. The tendency to look at health inequity from the perspective of exposure to and vulnerability to infectious diseases obscure other dimensions of inequity, such as those that stem from the logics behind epistemic and therapeutic interventions.

In this talk, Alexander Kagaha will argue that health inequity has practical face. The practical face health inequity can be seen by studying institutions that develop and deliver epistemic and therapeutic interventions. Focusing on the practical dimension illuminates the cultural production and normalisation of health inequity, and the microphysics of power that perpetuate it. The  presentation will comprise two parts. First, I Alexander will present the general thesis that distribution of infectious disease therapeutics is not sufficient to address health inequity. Both the distribution therapeutics and recognition of the effects of logics operating behind epistemic and therapeutic interventions must be aligned for better outcomes. Second, Alexander will present the conceptual problem that arise when a practical dimension is integrated into efforts to advance knowledge on health inequity in infectious disease control. Finally, Alexander will summarise with illustration of this approach on studying inequity in the context of Ebola Virus disease in Sub Saharan Africa.

Alexander Kagaha is a postdoctoral researcher at the school of public health and community medicine, Gothenburg university. He  was educated at the university of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg , where he received his Ph.D., and his areas of specialization include power, social and political theory. He has been investigating global health inequities in the context of Ebola virus disease and the COVID-19 virus disease.

About Nordic Global Health Talks

Nordic Global Health Talks is a monthly webinar series about global health research at Nordic universities, hosted by the Nordic Network on Global Health. It is free and open to everyone interested in knowing more about Nordic global health research, education and collaborative projects.

Read more and find the programme here.