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Is the Affordable Care Act Really Affordable?

The newest issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly, a journal of the Society of Medical Anthropology, offers an in depth look at both the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and national health care systems worldwide.

Several of the articles in the journal offer a critical look at the ACA as the United States embarks its first health care reformation in over half a century. One article in particular, Critical Anthropology of Global Health “Takes A Stand” Statement: A Critical Medical Anthropological Approach to the U.S.’s Affordable Care Act looks at the driving force behind the ACA, it’s uneasy compromise with the insurance industry, the unconstitutionality of the original planned expansion of Medicaid, and the shortfalls the ACA imposes on the American population.

Written by Sarah Horton (UColorado, Denver), Cesar Abadía (UNacional de Columbia), Jessica Mulligan (Providence College) and Jennifer Jo Thompson (U Georgia) the article encourages anthropologists to join in the national conversation and sets benchmarks in which to measure the future progress of this emerging health care system. The authors come to conclude that “In the end, the ACA leaves the nation’s Goliath of a health care industry intact, imposing only mild regulations on insurance and pharmaceutical companies’ leveraging of profits” (p15).

Read the entire article, here.

AAA Journals Make An Impact

This year, POLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review made its debut on the prestigious ISI Impact Factors ranking of anthropology journals. Not only did POLAR make its debut, the journal is in the top half of the Anthropology list!POLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review
Other notable rankings of AAA Journals are:

While many humanities scholars and cultural anthropologists correctly point to shortcomings of the Impact Factor, university deans and personnel committees often use the impact factor heavily in assessing the publications of candidates. For more advice on publishing, see AAA’s webpage on publishing research articles or look at the book How to Get Published in Anthropology, which covers all different kinds of publications.

Reinscribing the Birthing Body: Homebirth as Ritual Performance

In the  Medical Anthropology Quarterly, released this month, Melissa Cheyney examines the clinical practices engaged in by U.S. homebirth midwives and their clients from the beginning of pregnancy through to the immediate postpartum period, deconstructing them for their symbolic and ritual content. Read this quarter’s issue by logging in to AnthroSource.

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Anthropological Contributions to International Health

As mentioned in our April 25th blog post in honor of  World Malaria Day, AAA recognized this important day with a special virtual issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly. This special edition re-released articles which demonstrate ways that ethnography and human behavior studies help to change care management and public health policy.

Approximately half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria, particularly those living in lower-income countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO calculates that every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria. By joining the global movement to roll back these staggering statics on malaria, anthropologists serve as catalyst around the world to research the medical and cultural impacts of this disease and share their findings to help count malaria out.

In the past weeks, each article has been featured here on the AAA blog. Here is the final of seven highlighted articles:

Urbanization, Dengue, and the Health Transition: Anthropological Contributions to International Health
Carl Kendall, Patricia Hudelson, Elli Leontsini, Peter Winch, Linda Lloyd and Fernando Cruz
Medical Anthropology Quarterly, September 1991

A host of resurgent diseases, many in newly created urban environments, challenges the assumptions underlying anthropological contributions to international public health programs. Past programs validated local knowledge about acute and well-known disease conditions and encouraged self-help and participatory approaches to respond to these problems. This article discusses the changing picture of health conditions in urban settings by examining local responses to one problem, dengue hemorrhagic fever, in a new program designed to test several earlier assumptions.

To read the entire article, click here.

The Ethnoecology of Dengue Fever

As mentioned in our April 25th blog post in honor of  World Malaria Day, AAA recognized this important day with a special virtual issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly. This special edition re-released articles which demonstrate ways that ethnography and human behavior studies help to change care management and public health policy.

Approximately half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria, particularly those living in lower-income countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO calculates that every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria. By joining the global movement to roll back these staggering statics on malaria, anthropologists serve as catalyst around the world to research the medical and cultural impacts of this disease and share their findings to help count malaria out.

Over the coming weeks, each article will be featured here on the AAA blog. Here is the sixth of seven highlighted articles:

The Ethnoecology of Dengue Fever
Linda Whiteford
Medical Anthropology Quarterly, June 1997

This article employs an ethnoecological analysis to link indigenous, ethnomedical, and Western biomedical ideas of infectious disease causation/prevention. The ethnoecological analysis is expanded to include the cultural and historical context of political will and community participation in dengue fever control activities in an urban neighborhood in the Dominican Republic. Findings indicate that a key source of dengue fever transmission has been overlooked because it falls between established gender-role boundaries, and that mala union, an explanatory concept central to the failure of previous community-based interventions, emerges from local views of national political history.

To read the entire article, click here.

Examples from Malaria Control in Refugee Camps

As mentioned in our April 25th blog post in honor of  World Malaria Day, AAA recognized this important day with a special virtual issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly. This special edition re-released articles which demonstrate ways that ethnography and human behavior studies help to change care management and public health policy.

Approximately half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria, particularly those living in lower-income countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO calculates that every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria. By joining the global movement to roll back these staggering statics on malaria, anthropologists serve as catalyst around the world to research the medical and cultural impacts of this disease and share their findings to help count malaria out.

Over the coming weeks, each article will be featured here on the AAA blog. Here is the fifth of seven highlighted articles:

A Practical Discussion of Applied Public Health Research in the Context of Complex Emergencies: Examples from Malaria Control in Refugee Camps
Holly Ann Williams and Peter B. Bloland
NAPA Bulletin, May 2001

This article offers examples from malaria control research because malaria is a pressing public health problem in many emergency situations, both those caused by conflict as well as by natural disasters. Each year there are an estimated 300-500 million clinical cases of malaria worldwide and, depending on the epidemiologic conditions, health and social consequences from malaria can be quite severe, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

To read the entire article, click here.

Healing Herbs and Dangerous Doctors

As mentioned in our April 25th blog post in honor of  World Malaria Day, AAA recognized this important day with a special virtual issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly. This special edition re-released articles which demonstrate ways that ethnography and human behavior studies help to change care management and public health policy.

Approximately half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria, particularly those living in lower-income countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO calculates that every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria. By joining the global movement to roll back these staggering statics on malaria, anthropologists serve as catalyst around the world to research the medical and cultural impacts of this disease and share their findings to help count malaria out.

Over the coming weeks, each article will be featured here on the AAA blog. Here is the fourth of seven highlighted articles:

Healing Herbs and Dangerous Doctors: “Fruit Fever” and Community Conflicts with Biomedical Care in Northeast Thailand
Jen Pylypa
Medical Anthropology Quarterly, December 2007

In Northeast Thailand, khai mak mai (fruit fever) is a local, ethnomedical category of illness identified by community members as untreatable by biomedical health providers. The illness is believed to be incompatible with several substances that may induce death, including fruit as well as two forms of medication associated with biomedical care: injections and intravenous solution. Consequently, fevers suspected of being khai mak mai are treated by herbalists while biomedical health services are avoided and feared. In this article, I examine local perceptions and treatment of khai mak mai. I also explore the context and consequences of concerns about the inadequacy of biomedical care, as well as the social meanings associated with the illness and the political-economic context that shapes both the meanings of, and everyday responses to, fevers suspected of being khai mak mai.

To read the entire article, click here.

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