Medicine and Public Health in Latin America

Mar 2015

LaVacuna_CAPA_LIVROMedicine and Public Health in Latin America: A History, written by Marcos Cueto, scientific editor of HCSM, and Steven Palmer, of the University of Windsor (Canada), was recently published by Cambridge University Press.  The work is the result of several years of research in archives and libraries of Latin America and the United States.

The book summarizes the social history of medicine, medical education, and public health in Latin America. It begins with the contact between indigenous African American and European medicine in what was the colonial era for most countries, from the early sixteen to the early nineteen centuries.

Cueto and Palmer also follow the Latin American medical changes  in the first half of the twentieth century, which were part of an interaction process with the work of international agencies such as the Rockfeller Foundation.  The authors, then, present the region in the context of Cold War, when health programs were implemented with the expectation of controlling and eventually eradicating diseases.

Finally, it deals with the neoliberal agenda that dictated the rules in the 80s with a highly restrictive idea of health in terms of cost- effectiveness.

According to one of the blurbs of the back cover of the book:

_“With a strong narrative, remarkable insights and a thorough examination of some of the most recent findings, research questions, and methodologies, Cueto and Palmer provide a lucid and novel historical reassessment of indigenous medicines, medical pluralism, national and international health agendas, disease eradication, rural health, medical innovations, and global health.” – Historian Claudia Agostini, México.

PALMER-COUTOSee the articles written by Marcos Cueto and Steven Palmer in HCSM:

Cueto, MarcosEl rastro del SIDA en el PerúHist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos, 2002, vol.9, p.17-40. ISSN 0104-5970

Cueto, Marcos. Imágenes de la salud, la enfermedad y el desarrollofotografías de la Fundación Rockefeller en LatinoaméricaHist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos, Feb 1999, vol.5, no.3, p.679-704. ISSN 0104-5970
Palmer, Steven, Hochman, Gilberto and Arbex, Danieli Smallpox eradication, laboratory visits, and a touch of tourism:travel notes of a Canadian scientist in BrazilHist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos, 2010, vol.17, no.3, p.777-790. ISSN 0104-5970

Palmer, Steven. “O Demônio que se transformou em vermes”: a tradução da saúde pública no Caribe Britânico, 1914-1920Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos, Set 2006, vol.13, no.3, p.571-589. ISSN 0104-5970

See also the latest issue of HCSM: Bioethics and global health in the Americas.


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