Decolonizing Global Health Promotion: A Quest for Equity

Rashmi Singla, Johanne Andersen Elbek, Lene Maj Hjortsø Fernando

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Colonial legacies are apparent under the current neoliberal paradigm, which leads to global inequity, also in the field of global health. This chapter presents the need to decolonise the field of global health in the quest for health equity and highlights four essential levels in the decolonisation process: knowledge, leadership, policy, and praxis. Through critically engaging with historical premises and the contemporary challenges of global health, this chapter explores previous, current, and future development within the realm of global health and discusses decolonising strategies in order to challenge the structures that sustain a systemic suppression of Global South voices. With a point of departure in the Global North, we argue for the importance of involving all voices at all levels within the field of global health, including both sides of the human encounters between health professionals and local populations. The chapter engages with colonial legacies and assesses current societal structures through a postcolonial lens in order to suggest the necessary transformations towards social justice within decolonial frameworks. Colonial medicine forms the backdrop for discussing the current dynamics related to human encounters in promoting health globally, while the frictions and paradoxes faced by mobile health professionals, racial hierarchies, and power inequalities are covered within the theoretical framework of postcolonialism. Finally, the chapter reflects on practical decolonising approaches to achieve equity and social justice with broad recommendations for future work in global health.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransdisciplinary Thinking from the Global South: Whose problems, whose solutions?
EditorsJuan Carlos Finck Carrales, Julia Suárez-Krabbe
Number of pages22
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)9781032000350
ISBN (Electronic)9781003172413
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesRoutledge research on Decoloniality and New Postcolonialisms

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