Diversity and Solidarity in Global Health: Commentary by EngenderHealth Leaders and Collaborators in the Lancet Global Health
Health is a human right. Yet, systems support health inequitably. Those inequities have been highlighted and heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Diversity is the solution. That, in summary, is the argument put forth in a Lancet Global Health commentary entitled “Diversity and Solidarity in Global Health.” The piece is authored by Her Excellency Lia Tadesse Gebremedhin, Ethiopia Minister of Health; Maria Ba, Director, Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit; Fredrick Msigallah, Program Manager, Advocacy and Disability Inclusion, CCBRT, along with three EngenderHealth leaders: Traci L. Baird, President & CEO; Karna Eugene Kone, Communications Consultant; and Prudence Masako, Tanzania Country Representative.
The authors posit that diversity, in various forms, is the key to effectively addressing widespread health disparities. Diversity among individuals who are designing health solutions promotes the development of more inclusive interventions, while diversity in health sector leadership enables decision makers to account for the needs of people from different backgrounds. At a systems level, a diverse range of intersectional approaches is critical for combatting the social determinants of health across sectors.
Ensuring representation based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, profession, income status, and ability at all levels of action for global health, especially by those most affected by inequitable health systems, is a path to solidarity for global health progress. In the words of the authors, “Building health policy, strategy, service, and education to lift up all our communities is possible when we recognise, appreciate, and design for our commonalities and our differences.”
“Diversity and Solidarity in Global Health” is based on themes from a panel discussion at the Women and Girls Africa Summit 2020 entitled, “Diversity, Solidarity, and Action for Social Justice in Health: Keys to the SDGs.”blog diversity global health health systems healthcare inequity Latest News solidarity the lancet