The Political Economy of Global Health: Reflections from the Prince Mahidol Award Conference, Bangkok
By Rachel Thompson on February 5, 2019
The conflation of treatment and prevention may be problematic in tackling NCDs
Within Global Health, the issues around NCDs are being framed in terms of treatment solutions. Solutions that, for example, often involve public private partnerships to accelerate access to pharmaceutical products. This issue was evident in the UN General Assembly high level week (leading up to the 2018 High Level Meeting on NCDs), where only four out of over 50 Global Health side events mentioned prevention. Although in contrast, prevention was very clearly on the agenda at PMAC, the discussions soon returned to circular debates over engaging with “health harming” industries such as food and alcohol. This clip illustrates the situation at PMAC, where civil society (the People’s Health Movement and NCDFree) felt they had to interrupt the plenary to have their voice heard, to help support the brilliant panelist Kwanele Asante’s points. My analysis: if, as to quote Rhea Saksena, civil society are in “an abusive relationship with industry”, Global Health is an uncomfortable third wheel in this long-term relationship between Public Health and trans-national corporations.
For more of this analysis, check on this link from the International Health Policies