Monday, October 29, 2018
12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
McKinney Conference Room, 3rd Floor
Dismal public sector health spending is, in much of the historical and public health literature on Africa, considered a necessary consequence of a low GDP. But is it true that, in the past or the present, poor patients in poor countries are doomed to go without the fruits of modern medicine? The history of Malawi demonstrates how official neglect of health care required political, rhetorical, and even martial campaigns by colonial and post-colonial governments. Rising demand for medical care among African publics compelled governments either to increase spending or offer rationalizations for inaction. Because many of these claims of scarcity persist in global health discourse, the ways in which they were deployed, defended, and (at certain moments) defeated has important implications for health outcomes today.