Public Health and Medicine in Latin America

Anne-Emanuelle Birn

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199546497
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Public Health and Medicine in Latin America

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The countries of Latin America are enormously diverse demographically, geographically, politically, economically, and culturally, yet they share certain features, providing coherence to thinking about the history of health and medicine in regional terms. This article throws light on more recent scholarship that shows considerable regional innovation and the worldwide reverberation of a range of ‘homegrown’ medical ideas and practices, public health policies, and health care organizational models. It addresses these developments, diversities, and congruities through five historical eras and thematic perspectives. Finally, it concludes with an analysis of historiographical approaches in the contemporary context, exploring the major challenges facing historians writing about Latin American health and medicine today, particularly the links between history and contemporary national and global health policy issues.

Keywords: Latin America; health policy; medicine; historiographical approaches; global health

Article.  10726 words. 

Subjects: History ; History of the Americas

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