"Informal Conversations" at the Harvard Global Health Institute

Professor Ahmed Ragab launched the Harvard Global Health Institute’s Fall 2013 “Informal Conversations” series, which explores cross-disciplinary issues, ideas, challenges, and opportunities in global health, with a luncheon talk involving faculty and students on October 30, 2013. Prof. Ragab began by framing "global health" within its broader history: interactions between the power-dominant rich regions of the "global north" and the historically lower- and middle-income regions of the "global south". A secular discourse has shaped these interactions, separating religion from health in much of the Western world since the sixteenth century. Both medical missions and colonial medicine have perpetuated power differentials, and these effects continue to impact the lived experiences of many around the world for whom faith is an important part of a complex set of beliefs that in turn affect health attitudes and behaviors.