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The case for a Global South-centred model in global health

This is a summary of the following paper: Rasheed MA (2023) The case for a Global South centred model in global health. BMJ, 383, 2256. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37844937/

 

There has been substantial emphasis on the need to decolonise global health in recent years, with an aim to confront and dismantle historic and systemic power imbalances and achieve more equitable and inclusive solutions. In this article, Muneera Rasheed, a researcher in early childhood development from Pakistan, discusses why current approaches to decolonisation may be counterproductive. She makes the case for a new model that centres the Global South as primary actor and leader.

To date, efforts spearheaded by those in the Global North to decolonise global health have focused on granting access to decision makers and ensuring equity in research authorship and funding within existing systems. While their intentions are well meaning, these approaches position the health community in the Global South as collaborators, rather than as independent actors with the right to shape their own systems. Instead, centring the Global South in the primary role would ensure that their voices and perspectives shape actions better suited to their own contexts.

Muneera recognises that achieving a Global South-centred model in global health will require a shift in mindset and a commitment to partnerships that align with a vision for change. This change should be value based and strive for more equitable health outcomes, rather than perpetuating a charity-based model that positions the Global South as a site for data collection in exchange for funding. Muneera calls for colleagues in the Global North to recognise the work being done in Pakistan, and beyond, as critical to decolonisation and to learn from it. She also calls on her colleagues in the Global South to take back their power, to learn from each other, and to realise this model for change.

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The case for a Global South-centred model in global health. Field Exchange 72, April 2024. p41. www.ennonline.net/fex/72/the-case-for-a-global-south-centred-model-in-global-health

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