Requiring our citizens to demonstrate engagement in the workforce in order to access healthcare is at odds with health care as a human right.
On June 1, 21-year-old volunteer medic Razan Al Najjar was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper in Gaza as she was attempting to provide first aid to an injured protester. As the points out, “Shooting at medical personnel is a war crime under the Geneva conventions, as is shooting at children, journalists and unarmed civilians.” As we mourn the death of Najjar, Bram Wispelwey, a doctor working in the Aida Refugee Camp in the West Bank, shares his account of the political violence and resistance taking place in Palestine.
Haiti, January 17, 2018. This country and people taught me what I know about justice and injustice. I have dedicated my life to working with others to provide medical care to poor people in Africa, Haiti and other places that the President of the United States of America recently deemed “shithole” countries. The cries of outrage are deafening from the so-called left and inaudible from the so-called right. Yet, my Haitian friends, while disgusted, are not shocked. “Trump” they say, “is honest. He says what others think of us, how others treat us, but they say it in a softer way.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuG9AVTNhyA Stefano Vella is a clinician and a researcher. He is based in Rome, at the Italian National Institute of Health. His research focus has been mainly based on his infectious diseases and internal medicine backgrounds, addressing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, neglected tropical diseases, but also non communicable chronic diseases.
How we live in relationship with others when practicing global health is personal and fundamental. This is even more urgent as “America First” threatens to bury the USA’s commitment to global health. Despite the overwhelming list of pressing issues threatening today’s world, we must keep focus on people, on each other. Lavil: Life, Love, and Death in Port Au Prince, edited by Peter Orner, a writer and story teller, and Evan Lyon, a global health practitioner, is a beautiful and tragic collection of intimate, raw narratives from Haitians in post-earthquake Haiti. It is a reminder of the fact that when we as global health leaders and practitioners become removed from the lives of the patients and communities that we serve, we lose our way.
By Patricia Valoy, Contributing Editor, Science and Social Justice
Earlier this month the president of the United States withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement, a pioneering agreement formed at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in 2015. Countries from all over the world came together to discuss the effects of climate change and the catastrophic impact of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The convention culminated in an agreement signed by 195 countries vouching to reduce emissions in order to keep the global temperature from increasing by more than 2 degrees Celsius. Simply put, every country committed to a goal and the responsibility for figuring out how to meet their goal.
By Michelle Morse, MD, MPH | Contributing Editor for Global Health
Over the past thirty years, American medicine has witnessed an unprecedented expansion in global health engagement amongst its trainees and faculty, partially, if not largely, fueled by the health care injustices lived so dramatically by patients in resource-limited countries around the world during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Initially seen as disruptive, the interventions in the health sectors of Global South countries by American health professionals were eventually accepted as essential acts in the movement towards achieving global health equity. As America experiences the Trump era, endless questions have arisen amongst global health professionals about the implications of Trump’s “America first” platform on global health. Will Trump’s nationalist agenda eliminate funding for life-saving global health programs, cause progressive health professionals engaged in global health to make a reactionary turn towards the fire at home, and even force global health practitioners to more closely examine their own prejudices?
By Michelle Lugalia-Hollon, Contributing Editor, Global Health
Universal government-funded health insurance goes as far back in history as 1883. Developed countries such as Germany, Sweden, Britain and Norway began providing some form of universal health insurance to citizens as early as the 19th century. According to Physicians for a National Health Plan, a single issue organization advocating for a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program, the main reason that these health insurance programs were established was to protect citizens against wage loss during sickness and to win their political favor. Like today, these programs were highly politicized, but back then it was for very different reasons. Even though universal health care is considered a left-wing ideal today, in the 19th century, the conservative British and German working class heavily supported these programs to counter the growth of socialist and labor parties.