A newer tradition, which developed in the late 19th century following the acceptance of the germ theory in medicine, created positivist transitions in epidemiology.
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In the form of risk factors, a reductionist model of health and disease became pervasive in clinical and molecular epidemiology. The author shows how positivism and the concept of individualism removed from public health thinking the consideration of historical, social and economic influences that shape disease occurrence and the interventions chosen for a population.
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He states that the neglect of the multifactorial approach in contemporary public health thought has led to growing health inequalities in both the developed and the developing world. He further suggests that the concept of 'social capital' in public health, which is being hailed as a resurgence of holism, is in reality a sophisticated and extended version of individualism. The author presents the negative public policy consequences and implications of adopting methodological individualism through a discussion on AIDS policies.
The book strongly argues for a holistic understanding and the incorporation of a rights perspective in public health to bring elements of social justice and fairness in policy formulations.
The new holism: P4 systems medicine and the medicalization of health and life itself
As a result, communicable diseases like malaria, tuberculosis became extinct in developed countries such as India. Though much credit for the improvement of health status has been given to the advancement of bio-medical discipline in developed nations, few public health practitioners viewed that such impressive improvement is due to less exposure to infection, improved nutrition and better living standard coupled with advancement in the bio-medical field. But most of the public health practitioners did not shed light on food security, better standards of living, better housing and working conditions, water supply and sanitation as determinants for better human health.
Instead, it chooses to give full credit to the role of bio-medicine and its impact. Thus the major understanding of public health research and the vision of its future growth has remained confined to the reductionist model of science and medicine.
The report stated that despite rapid enhancement of aggregate health status, disparity or inequality in health status among various groups of the nation or between nations has widened. Fresh entrants in the field of diseases like AIDS and resurgence of tuberculosis and malaria especially among impoverished communities and countries shook the faith in bio-medicine.
Health inequalities reflect on the underlying social injustice like poor access to health care, inadequate food, impure water, unsafe living and working conditions and of course extreme poverty. This led to a booming industry of drugs. More light is shed on the individual expertise rather than on historical and socio-economic aspects.
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In the Sub-Saharan region where AIDS is a major cause of mortality, rampant in plantations, mines and urban squatters, emphasis is on curative medicines and preventive vaccines. There is least effort to improve the socio-economic standards of living of those working in such areas. The crucial role that IMF and the World Bank plays in disbursing funds to developing and under developing countries facilitates and nurtures the environment of social injustice. These monetary institutions emphasise on cutting down of state expenditure on social welfare schemes in such countries.
One gets to witness inflation, unemployment, fund reduction in health sectors, lack of infrastructure, poor or no sanitation, waterworks causing ill health and total disintegration of public health systems.
Vijay Kumar Yadavendu (Author of Shifting Paradigms in Public Health)
The economic policy of the state in the form of liberalisation and privatisation is definitely lowering the chances of healthy survival of the deprived societies of the state, the author notes. More the things change, more they stay the same. Arun Jaitley: Master of manoeuvrings. Leave A Reply Cancel Reply.
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FAQ Policy. The author presents the negative public policy consequences and implications of adopting methodological individualism through a discussion on AIDS policies.
The book strongly argues for a holistic understanding and the incorporation of a rights perspective in public health to bring elements of social justice and fairness in policy formulations. Show all. Show next xx.
Related Shifting Paradigms in Public Health: From Holism to Individualism
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