The Global Health Machine

There is a room full of mostly white, middle-aged Americans, with sparse young people.  It seems like we are talking about global health ‘out there’.  Global health as definitely separate from our own health.  We are all speaking the same language, though.  The country-name-dropping language, the NGO-monitoring-evaluation-strategic planning language, the political policy-advocacy language, the twinning-partnership-consortium language, the funding language, the “sustainability” language, the program planning and participation-from-the-community language.

When the  rest of the world is seemingly not in the same room as us, and we are taking about it as ‘other’, do we speak the same language as if the rest of the world was in the same room?  Is there the same equality, sense of sovereignty within our own communities?  A collective sense of our collective vulnerability? 

On the projector, slides of policies and guidelines and results flash up and away again.  MDGs are brought up, again as if they affect others and not ourselves. 

I’m not really sure how there are so many people here swimming in this nebulous global health machine.  Why are they all here?  Are they seeing something much different than me?  I’m not sure what I’m expecting in terms of clarity, but I guess I’m just not seeing much of a relation between these meetings and the real world.


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