By Beth U

Medical Anthropology Quarterly just published my article with Siobhan Curran entitled “Gendering the Burden of Care: Health Reform and the Paradox of Community Participation in Western Belize.”

The article is based on a more comprehensive ethnographic study investigating health disparities and the privatization of health care in Western Belize utilizing participatory action research which we published a few years back.

The abstract is below.  Unfortunately it’s behind a paywall, so be in touch–oh imaginary readers–if you are interested in a copy:)

Abstract: Belizean health policy supports a primary health care (PHC) strategy of universal access, community participation, and multisectoral collaboration. The principals of PHC were a key part of Belize’s emergent national identity and built on existing community-based health strategies. Ethnographic research in western Belize, however, reveals that ongoing health reform is removing providers from participatory arenas. In this article, we foreground a particular moment in Belizean health history—the rise and demise of multisectoral collaboration—to question what can constitute meaningful community participation in the midst of health reform. Many allied health providers continue to believe in the potential of PHC to alleviate the structural causations of poor health and to invest in PHC despite a lack of state support. This means that providers, the majority women, are palliating the consequences of neoliberal reform; it also means that they provide spaces of contestation to the consumer “logic” of this reform.