Session 2: National struggles for health equity and universal health coverage: Political drivers

The session will be chaired by Jashodhara Dasgupta.


Anne-Emanuelle Birn

"UHC: in whose universe?"

Anne-Emanuelle Birn (BA, Harvard; MA, University of Canterbury, NZ; ScD Johns Hopkins) is Professor of Critical Development Studies and of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the University of Toronto, where she was Canada Research Chair in International Health (2003-2013).  

Professor Birn’s research explores the history, politics, and political economy of international/global health, with particular interests in Latin American health and social justice movements, child health, and philanthrocapitalism—and emphases ranging from the scatological to the ideological. Her work has appeared in Latin American, African, Asian, North American, and European journals and presses.  

Her books include: Marriage of Convenience: Rockefeller International Health and Revolutionary Mexico (Rochester, 2006); Comrades in Health: US Health Internationalists, Abroad and at Home (Rutgers, 2013); Oxford’s Textbook of International Health: Global Health in a Dynamic World (Oxford, 2009) and Textbook of Global Health (Oxford, 2017). Current projects examine: the history of child health and child rights in Uruguay; social justice-oriented South-South cooperation in health; extractive industries and health; and health politics in Cold War Latin America. In 2014 she was recognized among the top 100 Women Leaders in Global Health and since 2016 has served on the Independent Panel on Global Governance for Health.


Ramya Kumar

"‘Free Health’ and the Politics of Universal Health Coverage in Sri Lanka"

Ramya Kumar is a medical doctor and lecturer attached to the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. She has authored various articles on health policy and health reform in Sri Lanka.

Her PhD dissertation titled, "The Privatization Imperative: Women Negotiating Healthcare in Kandy, Sri Lanka" (University of Toronto, 2018), explores healthcare access in the context of privatization in Sri Lanka. She is committed to social medicine and social justice in health.


Cristiani Vieira Machado

"Inequalities and Political Struggles for a Universal Health System in Brazil"

Cristiani Vieira Machado has a degree in Medicine (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, 1993), a Master and a PhD in Public Health (State University of Rio de Janeiro, 2005). From 2011 to 2012, she was a visiting scholar in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a public health official in Brazil, she has worked at the local, at the state and at the national level (at the Ministry of Health).

Since 2002, she is a Researcher and Professor at the Sergio Arouca National School of Public Health/Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil (Ensp/Fiocruz) and she is currently the coordinator of the Public Health Graduate Program/Fiocruz, which is the largest Brazilian Program in the field. Her research focuses on development, social protection and health; politics and health policy; health policy formulation and implementation; comparative health policies and health systems. She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and has published two books on health policies in Brazil. Her current research project is on health policies in Latin America in comparative perspective.


Ruth Prince

"Universal Health Coverage and the Public Good: critical perspectives from Kenya"

Ruth Prince is associate professor of medical anthropology at the University of Oslo. She is Principal Investigator of “Universal Health Coverage and the Public Good in Africa”; a 5-year comparative anthropological research project funded by the European Research Council (2018-2023). The project explores new forms of social protection and welfare in African countries, with a focus on the relations between the public good and private markets in moves towards Universal Health Coverage. Within the project, Prince’s research explores health insurance markets in Kenya. She is also interested in the social and political collectives forming around struggles for health care.

Prince has published extensively in the field of critical global health, biopolitics, humanitarianism, development and medical anthropology. Relevant books including “Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa” (2013, Ohio UP), and “Volunteer Economies: The Ethics and Politics of Volunteer Labour in Africa” (2016, James Currey).

Before joining the University of Oslo in 2014, she was Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Social Anthropology and the Centre of African Studies, where she also held a Mellon Fellowship, the Smuts Research Fellowship and an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship. Her research has also been funded by the Norwegian Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Max-Planck Institute of Social Anthropology, and the Wellcome Trust. She was trained as an anthropologist at the universities of Copenhagen, UCL and Oxford.

Published Sep. 24, 2018 3:26 PM - Last modified Oct. 3, 2018 9:47 AM