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Why We Need To Decolonize Global Health

Ebola Vaccine Study in West Africa
A study volunteer receives inoculation in 2017 on the opening day in Liberia of PREVAC, a Ebola vaccine trial in West Africa.

On the next Your Call, Doctor Eugene Richardson discusses his new book, "Epidemic Illusions: On the Coloniality of Global Public Health." He argues that health systems in the Global South are neglected and underdeveloped as a way to keep them dependent on wealthy donor countries.

He says we’re seeing this play out right now with wealthy countries hoarding COVID vaccine doses. Several lower-income countries may not achieve mass immunization until 2024. What will it take to decolonize global health?


Doctor Eugene Richardson, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Consultant with Africa CDC. Dr. Richardson previously served as the clinical lead for Partners In Health’s Ebola response in Sierra Leone. His new book is called "Epidemic Illusions: On the Coloniality of Global Public Health"

Web Resources:

Al Jazeera, Parsa Erfani, Eugene Richardson, Jason Hickel: A call for global vaccine justice

PBS NewsHour: The ethics of ‘vaccine passports’ and a moral case for global vaccine equity

NPR, Joanne Lu: A Doctor's New Book Tackles The Colonialist Roots Of Global Health : Goats and Soda

Lea is a producer for Your Call on KALW Local Public Radio. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2018.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.