Decolonise public health

I wasn’t even aware of this till I landed on this blog:

The Problem with “Decolonizing” Global Health

But in the past few years, an academic and cultural movement calling to “decolonize global health” (DGH) has come to have the potential to undermine these core principles. While there is no single agreed-upon definition of DGH, the most extreme version argues that global health is a form of modern colonization, calls for an overhaul of the discipline, and seeks to limit “Western” influence on developing nations. Some advocates of this movement have gone so far as to call for the field of global health to be dismantled altogether. In doing so, and despite alleged good intentions, the radical edge of this movement may unwittingly threaten the right to health of some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

The author tries to wring arguments for “western-led methodical approach”, while providing a “magnet” to the “researchers” from across the world. I won’t be surprised if a coloured person joins the department to tick the “diversity boxes” because they look good in the marketing flyers shared in booths for “outreach”. That’s why the manicured lawns are critical to look the “right amount of green”, presumably to “attract competitive applications”. Though, when the biases are built in the system, and well-thought out endowments from alumni swing the ball in favour of the “elite”, it defeats the entire purpose. I have looked closely at the “crisis” of higher education in several posts below (which remains my opinion). The acquired “degree” is only a market signal (and usually doesn’t hold much importance in the real-life),

Nevertheless, the movement of “decolonisation” requires careful validation of lack of institutional and state capacity (including conflict prone regions) or those geographies where the government has no prerogative (or motivation) to build and scale large institutions. Arguably, the “western methods” have achieved a specific set of gatekeeping standards (including “priority access” to the publishing pipeline) and “central podiums” to showcase the “local talent” (international submissions may be damned). It is critical to understand that perceptions around “greatness” are “woven” with the narratives, and “credibility metrics” are relatively hard to game. Therefore, the idea pipeline is diminishing, and I call the publications “polishing the turd”. Diversity of ideas (and individuals) is critical to achieve without virtue signalling. We need better platforms to engage and clarify ideas/ideals and push the boundaries of medical research. Cultural and technological adaptation is important (and critical) to achieve the progress of science.

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