Description : For international experts health is a comprehensive concept closely linked to bodily, material, spiritual and social well-being. But what does health mean to women living in a poor neighborhood of an African city? Women in Dar es Salaam see health as primarily related to livelihood, hygiene and care. To stay healthy one has to fulfill basic needs for food, water and shelter, to keep the body and home clean and to take good care of the family. Since the state and newly privatized services hardly reach them and husbands often fail in their role as breadwinners, women bear a growing burden in daily health practice. They become increasingly vulnerable, unless they manage to create a new balance by improving their knowledge, becoming economically more independent and raising support within the household, in social networks and organizations. By shifting the focus from illness to local meanings of health and vulnerability, anthropology can make a unique contribution to the rapidly expanding field of urban health research. Such an actor-centered approach provides fascinating insights and fosters innovative theoretical debates for both scholars and practitioners. With regard to medical anthropology, this study opens new lines of inquiry which may eventually lead to an anthropology of health.
Description : Shortly after the dawn of the twentieth century, the New York City Department of Health decided to address what it perceived as the racial nature of health. It delivered heavily racialized care in different neighborhoods throughout the city: syphillis treatment among African Americans, tuberculosis for Italian Americans, and so on. It was a challenging and ambitious program, dangerous for the providers, and troublingly reductive for the patients. Nevertheless, poor and working-class African American, British West Indian, and Southern Italian women all received some of the nation’s best health care during this period. Health in the City challenges traditional ideas of early twentieth-century urban black health care by showing a program that was simultaneously racialized and cutting-edge. It reveals that even the most well-meaning public health programs may inadvertently reinforce perceptions of inferiority that they were created to fix.
Description : Across the world, cities are becoming larger, as populations drift from the country into urban areas. At the same time, the mentally ill are leaving the mental hospitals and new forms of care are being found in the community. The best ways in which services for the mentally ill can be organized in the community is still a matter for debate, and as cities become larger problems may become greater.; This text compares mental health services in London with those in Amsterdam, Baltimore, Bangalore, Copenhagen, Kobe, Madison, Porto Alegre, Sydney, Teheran and Verona. It describes arrangements that work in practice, and includes some of the ideas and practices in mental health services.
Description : The visionaries of early motion pictures thought that movies could do more than just entertain. They imagined the medium had the potential to educate and motivate the audience. In national and local contexts from Europe, North America, and around the world, early filmmakers entered the domains of science and health education, social and religious uplift, labor organizing and political campaigning. Beyond the Screen captures this pioneering vision of the future of cinema.
Description : An insightful chronicle of the changing public health demands in New York City. The first permanent Board of Health in the United States was created in response to a cholera outbreak in New York City in 1866. By the mid-twentieth century, thanks to landmark achievements in vaccinations, medical data collection, and community health, the NYC Department of Health had become the nation’s gold standard for public health. However, as the city’s population grew in number and diversity, the department struggled to balance its efforts between the treatment of diseases—such as AIDS, tuberculosis, and West Nile Virus—and the prevention of illness-causing factors like lead paint, heroin addiction, homelessness, smoking, and unhealthy foods. In Epidemic City, historian of public health James Colgrove chronicles the challenges faced by the health department since New York City’s mid-twentieth-century “peak” in public health provision. This insightful volume draws on archival research and oral histories to examine how the provision of public health has adapted to the competing demands of diverse public needs, public perceptions, and political pressure. Epidemic City analyzes the perspectives and efforts of the people responsible for the city’s public health from the 1960s to the present—a time that brought new challenges, such as budget and staffing shortages, and new threats like bioterrorism. Faced with controversies such as needle exchange programs and AIDS reporting, the health department struggled to maintain a delicate balance between its primary focus on illness prevention and the need to ensure public and political support for its activities. In the past decade, after the 9/11 attacks and bioterrorism scares partially diverted public health efforts from illness prevention to threat response, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden were still able to pass New York’s Clean Indoor Air Act restricting smoking and significant regulations on trans-fats used by restaurants. This legislation—preventative in nature much like the department’s original sanitary code—reflects a return to the nineteenth century roots of public health, when public health measures were often overtly paternalistic. The assertive laws conceived by Frieden and executed by Bloomberg demonstrate how far the mandate of public health can extend when backed by committed government officials. Epidemic City provides a compelling historical analysis of the individuals and groups tasked with negotiating the fine line between public health and political considerations. By examining the department’s successes and failures during the ambitious social programs of the 1960s, the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, the struggles with poverty and homelessness in the 1980s and 1990s, and in the post-9/11 era, Epidemic City shows how the NYC Department of Health has defined the role and scope of public health services for the entire nation.
Description : Socio-economic inequalities in health are present to a greater or lesser extent in all European countries and the available data suggests that the health gap is increasing. Many studies have been conducted to explain inequalities in health and from them much has been learnt about the different contributory factors. However, in practice it seems hard to translate the knowledge of causes into effective interventions and policies. Reducing Inequalities in Health: a European Perspective: * brings together an unrivalled collection of contemporary data on successful policies and interventions * compares differences in approach in several European countries * includes recent evaluation studies * discusses conceptual issues for research * provides examples of good and bad practice in Europe * draws out the policy and research implications for the future With contributions from leading researchers in 14 different European countries, this book provides a comprehensive source of reference for the reader interested in what really works in the field of health promotion and what sort of policies reduce the health gap.
Description : Most discussions of health care center on medical advances, cost, and the roles of insurers and government agencies. With The Grey Zone of Health and Illness, Alan Blum offers a new perspective, outlining a highly nuanced theoretical approach to health and health care alike. Drawing on a range of thinkers, Blum explains how our current understanding of health care tends to posit it as a sort of state of permanent emergency, like the nuclear standoff of the Cold War. To move beyond that, he argues, will require a complete rethinking of health and sickness, self-governance and negligence. A heady, cutting-edge intervention in a critical area of society, The Grey Zone of Health and Illness will have wide ramifications in the academy and beyond.