The struggle for health: medicine and the politics of underdevelopment.
This book is dedicated to the proposition that problems of health, development and underdevelopment are intimately linked. In recent years there has been increasing debate about the sociology of health--this book is, in part, a contribution to that debate. It may also be of value to health workers in underdeveloped countries who are starting to explore the roots of ill health in their societies and to question their roles. Many aspects of the work of aid agencies have been given an unsparing critique in recent years. Not only has this confirmed the suspicion that such agencies were not tackling the root causes of poverty; on occasions they can also do clear harm. This book offers a far more radical approach than simply the need for more preventive medicine. It argues that medicine of any sort plays a very minor role in improving the health of peoples--that their health is inextricably linked to underdevelopment and the struggle against it. This book asks whether our conventional ideas of tropical health hazards are correct, whether the problem is simply one of hot countries where disease breeds more easily. It also looks at how the health services of developed countries evolved and asks how appropriate they are, and it examines possible alternatives to this Western medical model. Finally, this book outlines the difficulties faced by the health worker who wishes to adopt a different approach to that of the foreign expert.