Peace in the Clinic: Rethinking “Global Health Diplomacy” in the Somali Region of Ethiopia
- 563 Downloads
Drawing on ethnographic research with Somalis, within aid organizations, and within health care facilities in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, this article argues that what is called “global health diplomacy,” despite its origins and articulations in interstate politics, is fundamentally local and interpersonal. As evidence, I outline two very different health programs in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, and how, in each, existing animosities and political grievances were either reinforced or undermined. I argue that the provision of health care in politically insecure and post-conflict settings like the Somali Region of Ethiopia is precarious but pivotal: medical encounters have the potential to either worsen the conditions in which conflicts and crises recur, or build new interpersonal and governmental relations of trust. Effective global health diplomacy, therefore, cannot be limited to building clinics and donating medicine, but must also explicitly include building positive relationships of trust between oppositional groups within clinical spaces.
KeywordsGlobal health Humanitarian assistance Post-conflict reconciliation Peace Horn of Africa
- Cumming-Bruce, Nick 2014 W.H.O. Chief Calls Ebola Outbreak a ‘Crisis for International Peace. The New York Times. 14 Oct 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/14/world/africa/ebola-virus-outbreak.html.
- Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Health (FDREMH) 2011 HSDP IV. Annual Performance Report. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.Google Scholar
- Fidler, David F 2011 Navigating the Global Health Terrain: Mapping Global Health Diplomacy. Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy 6(1): 1–43.Google Scholar
- Hein, Wolfgang 2013 The New Dynamics of Global Health Governance. In Global Health Diplomacy: Concepts, Issues, Actors, Instruments, Fora and Cases. Ilona Kickbusch, Graham Lister, Michaela Told, Nick Drager eds. pp. 55–72. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Human Rights Watch 2008 Collective Punishment: War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in the Ogaden area of Ethiopia’s Somali Region.Google Scholar
- ICF International 2012 Atlas of Gender and Health Indicators: Data from the 2011 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey. Calverton, Maryland, USA: ICF International.Google Scholar
- International Crisis Group 2013 Ethiopia: Prospects for Peace in the Ogaden. Africa Report Number 207. 6 Aug 2013. Brussels, Belgium. http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/files/africa/horn-of-africa/ethiopia-eritrea/207-ethiopia-prospects-for-peace-in-ogaden.pdf.
- IRIN 2009 “Ethiopia: Malnutrition critical in Somali Region.” IRIN, July 16 http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportId=85304 (Accessed 14 Jan 2010). Provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
- Kickbusch, Ilona 2011 Global health diplomacy: how foreign policy can influence health. British Medical Journal. 2011:342.Google Scholar
- Kickbusch, Ilona, Silberschmidt, Gaudenz, and Buss, Paulo 2007 Global health diplomacy: the need for new perspectives, strategic approaches and skills in global health. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 85(3):230–232. http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0042-96862007000300018&lng=en&tlng=en. doi: 10.1590/S0042-96862007000300018. Accessed 11 March 2015.
- Kleinman, Arthur 1981 Patients and Healers in the Context of Culture: An Exploration of the Borderland Between Anthropology, Medicine, and Psychiatry. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Kleinman, Arthur 2000 The Violences of Everyday Life: The Multiple Forms and Dynamics of Social Violence. In Violence and Subjectivity, Veena Das, ed. pp. 226–241. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Lakoff, Andrew and Stephen J. Collier, eds. 2008 Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health & Security in Question. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Samatar, Abdi Ismail 2005 Ethiopian Ethnic Federalism and Regional Autonomy: The Somali Test. Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies. 5:44-76.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of State 2015 About the Office of Global Health Diplomacy. http://www.state.gov/s/ghd/about/index.htm. Accessed 9 March 2015.
- UNICEF 2009 Mobile Health & Nutrition Team Annual Review 2008. UNICEF and the Ministry of Health. Jijiga, Ethiopia, 2009.Google Scholar
- UNICEF 2014 Mobile Health & Nutrition Team Review 2014. UNICEF and the Somali Regional Health Bureau. Jijiga, Ethiopia.Google Scholar
- Whyte, Susan Reynolds, Sjaak van der Geest, and Anita Hardon 2005 Social Lives of Medicines. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Yamamoto, Donald Y 2013 Testimony. Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs Before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. Washington, DC.Google Scholar