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Title:The promise and failure of global health: Women’s healthcare amid the rising burden of chronic health conditions in northeastern Tanzania
Author(s):Smith, Rachel
Director of Research:Dill, Brian
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dill, Brian
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Zerai, Assata; Gille, Zsuzsa; Tabb DIna, Karen
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
global health
women's health
chronic disease
non-communicable diseases
Abstract:This thesis interrogates the discourse and practice of global health in northeastern Tanzania. It investigates how the rising burden of chronic health conditions complicates the provision of women’s healthcare and presents new challenges for national and global health initiatives. Across sub-Saharan Africa, processes of urbanization, globalization and changing lifestyles are altering regimes of social reproduction and increasing health risks for women with both a high rate of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Creating policies and dedicating resources that meet these challenges in Tanzania, as well as in neighboring countries, requires a deeper understanding of local healthcare realities as well as the inclusion of women’s health priorities, and perspectives on accessing care - something that previous women’s health initiatives have failed to do. This research project utilized participant-observation ethnography and semi-structured interviews with women and healthcare providers at several different healthcare sites in an urban setting in Northeastern Tanzania. This research demonstrates the mismatch between the priorities of Western-led global health initiatives that target women’s health in the country and the priorities of women themselves. It also historicizes and contextualizes biomedicine, and shows how dramatically different healthcare realities in high and low-resource settings present limitations to the Western biomedical model typically exported in global health initiatives. Lastly, it highlights the contradictions between global health discourse – which emphasizes equity and partnership – and the realities of global health in practice in this Tanzanian setting.
Issue Date:2021-12-02
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Rachel Smith
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-04-29
Date Deposited:2021-12

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