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Medical Anthropology

Discover Research on Primary Health Care and Universal Health Coverage


César E. Abadía-Barrero

The 72nd World Health Assembly gathers in Geneva from 20-28 May, 2019, focusing this year on Sustainable Development Goals and health, including Universal Health Coverage. WHA delegates will be discussing WHO’s continued commitment to Primary Health Care (PHC). In his report on Universal Health Coverage, the Director General writes of primary health care as a “cornerstone” to enable health systems to adapt to complex and rapidly changing events, to address the social determinants of health, and to ensure a people-centered approach (http://apps.who.int/gb/e/e_wha72.html, A72/12).

            As I illustrate with Mary Bugbee, medical anthropologists have made substantial contributions to understanding health reforms to increase coverage, and the contested role of primary health care and community health workers to deliver bottom-up, comprehensive, intersectoral and truly transformative health care. Our work provides important insights into the topics to be discussed during WHA deliberations. In this special virtual issue, we include ethnographic studies from France and Burkina Faso, Romania, Senegal, Pakistan, South Africa and Colombia. In our introduction, we highlight how this and other work reinforces the need to focus not only on those most marginalized by conventional systems of care, but also on how political and economic actors at the global, national, and local levels are influencing the revamped interest in PHC.

Read on to discover the research. 

Medical Anthropology - Primary Health Care and Universal Health Coverage

Article TitleAuthor(s)Journal TitleVolumeIssue
Primary Health Care for Universal Health Coverage? Contributions for a Critical Anthropological AgendaCésar Ernesto Abadía-Barrero and Mary BugbeeMedical Anthropology
Moving Beyond Neoliberal Models of Health CareCarole Browner Medical Anthropology
Accumulation by Dispossession and Public–Private Biomedical Pluralism in Romanian Health CareSabina Stan and Toma Valentin-VeronMedical Anthropology381
Haunting Expectations of Hospital Births Challenged by Traditional MidwivesFouzieyha TowghiMedical Anthropology378
Data Performativity, Performing Health Work: Malaria and Labor in SenegalMarlee TichenorMedical Anthropology 365
Out-of-Sync Cancer Care: Health Insurance Companies, Biomedical Practices, and Clinical Time in ColombiaCamilo SanzMedical Anthropology363
Ambiguous Capture: Collaborative Capitalism and the Meningitis Vaccine ProjectJanice GrahamMedical Anthropology355