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AfflictionHealth, Disease, Poverty$
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Veena Das

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823261802

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823261802.001.0001

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Global Health Discourse and the View from Planet Earth

Global Health Discourse and the View from Planet Earth

(p.181) Seven Global Health Discourse and the View from Planet Earth

Veena Das

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines a diverse set of literatures from behavioral economics and global health to see what changes have taken place in foundational agreements about policy regarding the poor. Since disease surveillance has appeared as a major concern in global health, the impetus toward generation of data on global disease prevalence through statistical models has gained considerable prominence. The hope is for rational decision making through which global interventions can be made in setting priorities for different countries. The chapter explores how health is imagined in the context of ambitions for standardized ways of tackling the health problems of low-income countries through global programming. It considers how the emergence of ideas of global public goods, demands for greater precision in measuring outcomes of health interventions, and the pressures for standardization has changed what is regarded as “common sense” about the behavior of the poor. It also looks at theories embedded in the everyday experiences of patients and healers, and how they might be made to speak critically to the expert discourses of global health.

Keywords:   behavioral economics, global health, poor, disease surveillance, disease prevalence, low-income countries, public good, health interventions, patients, healers

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