Global Health Justice

August 11, 2023

Are we training students to be white saviors in global health?

Ananya Tina Banerjee and co-authors just published an excellent piece in The Lancet on white saviorism in global health. They remind us that global health leadership and power continues to be dominated by the global north – and that 85% of all global health organizations are headquartered in Europe and North America. They point out that, despite our decolonizing efforts, that there is limited discussion of acknowledging the colonial foundations of global health or the need for reparations for colonial harms – that persist today. The authors propose seven ways to help build an anti-white savior approach to global health education – and to provide counter-narratives to it. These include bringing a historical lens to learning, engaging in advocacy and politics regarding the social determinants of health, framing decolonization as an ongoing process that requires action, highlighting expertise and successes from the global south, engaging partners about their goals and needs, include local challenges and inequities, and learning to step back and give up power.  Read the article to understand how we can try to walk our talk on decolonization.