Decolonizing global health from the perspectives of global health actors in Low-middle Income Countries Open Access

Adiabu, Sedem (Spring 2021)

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Ongoing debate on decolonizing global health has elucidated stark power imbalances in partnerships among High Income Countries (HICs) and Low-Middle Income Countries (LMICs). Concerns about colonial legacies within the field may be hampering efforts to achieving health equity. While attention is growing on decolonizing global health, the perspectives of global health actors from LMICs have not been adequately explored. Their unique contextual knowledge surrounding the basis of this movement presents a critical opportunity to generate ideas on dismantling existing colonial forces blocking global health’s mission. In this study, qualitative measures were employed to describe the perspectives of global health actors in LMICs on what decolonizing global health means to them. The target population were mid-level health professionals from LMICs, and the sampling frame was Emory’s 2019 Humphrey Fellows. A critical qualitative analysis for participant interviews revealed three thematic areas -Political manipulation, Hypocrisy, and Distrust that describe key areas of attribution to global health challenges impeding global health equity. Additional data were collected on their recommendations in realizing a decolonized state of global health within their respective countries. Findings revealed how politics, hypocrisy, and distrust among HIC and LMIC partnerships correspond to uphold power imbalances. Recommendations on decolonizing global health fell into the following categories: a shift in perspectives, flexibility in donor requirements, meaningful dialogue, and intentional capacity building.

Table of Contents




Mapping the Challenges

The Current Movement



Study population and Recruitment

Data Collection

Data Analysis

Ethics Statement

Theme 1: Post-colonial Political Trajectory

Theme 2: Hypocrisy

What is decolonizing global health to you?

Post-colonial Political Trajectory “Global Health is a political football”

Hypocrisy “We say we’re a global village now, but the donor countries have superior drugs”




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