Children's experiences with Global Health

Colleen Walsh Lang (Washington University in St. Louis)
Charles Watters
Start time:
9 September, 2015 at 14:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

As targets of global health interventions, children's lives are often reduced to easily quantifiable measures. This panel explores how anthropology can inform global health by offering a holistic approach to children's wellbeing, and what lessons from global health can be useful to anthropologists.

Long abstract:

Children make up the majority of the population throughout much of the world where global health interventions are targeted. Interventions often focus on technological innovation as the solution to complex health issues. Furthermore, children are often the direct target of global health interventions, and as targets are often reduced to quantifiable measures such as the number of vaccines administered, bed-nets provided, packets of RTUF handed out, hospital births delivered, or number of ARVs given. While global health often reduces beneficiaries to quantifiable variables, anthropological perspectives offer a more holistic approach. Situating children and childhood within a larger cultural context and recognizing the lived experience of children themselves. This panel seeks to explore children's experiences with global health. It asks questions such as how children themselves interact with global health initiatives, how global health initiatives are motivated by and framed within a western idealized concept of childhood, and how understanding the diversity of childhoods can foster more effective global health interventions.