Global knowledge gaps in equitable delivery of chronic edema care: a political economy case study analysis

Gibson, Linda, Moffatt, Christine J, Narahari, SR, Kabiri, Lydia, Ikhile, Deborah, Nchafack, Almighty, Dring, Eleanore, Nursing, Dip, Kousthubha, S N and Gorry, Jonathan (2021) Global knowledge gaps in equitable delivery of chronic edema care: a political economy case study analysis. Lymphatic Research and Biology, 19 (5). pp. 447-459. ISSN 1539-6851

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Background: Most existing research in chronic edema (CO) care takes place in high-income countries and is both clinically and medically focused, although often accorded low prestige and status. A myriad of challenges define the problems and important gaps in understanding and translating what we know into sustainable practice. Less considered, however, are the consequences and socioeconomic significance of this “knowledge gap” in an increasingly globalized world. This article seeks to address this lacuna by suggesting a political economy approach across three different income settings, the United Kingdom (high), Kerala in India (middle), and Uganda (low), to learn from international practice and understand the contribution of local (community-specific) health traditions.

Methods and Result: We used a comparative case study approach. In the three case studies we demonstrate how particular thinking, sets of power relationships, and resource distributions influence and structure the provision of CO management more generally. We demonstrate how these intertwined and often invisible processes reflect a market-led biomedical hierarchization that focuses on high-interventionist, high-cost approaches that are then imposed on lower income settings. At the same time, low-cost but evidence-based local knowledge innovation in wound and CO care from low- or middle-income countries is neither recognized nor valued.

Conclusion: We conclude that unpacking these dynamics is a necessary route to providing a more equitable health delivery accessible for the many rather than the few.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: integrative medicine, lymphatic filariasis, lymphedema, political economy, traditional medicine, Edema, Humans, India, Long-Term Care, United Kingdom
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 25 May 2022 06:57
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2022 16:48

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