Protecting the Health of the Poor

Social Movements in the South

Edited by Abraar Karan and Geeta Sodhi


Argues for a comprehensive agenda for a fight against poverty and for protecting the health of the poor.

Nowhere is the injustice of the global distribution of income and wealth more palpable than in health. While the world’s affluent spend fortunes on the most trifling treatments, poor people’s lives are ruined and often cut short prematurely by challenges that could easily be overcome at low cost: childbirth, diarrhoea, malnutrition, malaria, HIV/AIDS, measles, pneumonia. Millions are avoidably dying from such causes each year and billions of lives avoidably blighted by these diseases of poverty.

Drawing on in-depth empirical research spanning Asia, Latin America, and Africa, this path-breaking collection offers fresh perspectives from critically engaged scholars. Protecting the Health of the Poor presents a call and a vision for unified efforts across geographies, levels and sectors to make the right to health truly universal.

Author Bio

Abraar Karan is an MD candidate in the Global Health Pathway at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he serves as the student body president. His writings have been featured in a number of well-known publication venues, including Medscape, The Lancet, Academic Medicine, PLoS Global Health, Global Post, Kevin MD, and the Global Health Hub.

Geeta Sodhi, DNB (Paeds), is a qualified paediatrician who veered into public health and the development sector more than two decades ago as a social entrepreneur. Her research has been published in various edited volumes, and she has been an invited speaker at several international conferences and academic institutions.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction - Abraar Karan and Geeta Sodhi
  • Part I: Legal Movements
    • 1. Requesting a Compulsory Licence for Kaletra, aAn HIV/AIDS Antiretroviral Drug, in Colombia - Luz Marina Umbasía Bernal
    • 2. Impact of the World Trade Organization’s Agreements on Agriculture and on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights on the Health of Citizens in the Developing World - Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua
  • Part II: Political Movements
    • 3. Managing an A(H1N1) Pandemic: Public Health or healthy Business? - Germán Velásquez
    • 4. Catastrophic Health Expenditure, Health Insurance Coverage, and Poor People in India: New Evidence on Healthcare Costs Leading to Impoverishment - T. V. Sekher, Kaushalendra Kumar, and V. P. Shijith
    • 5. Crisis of the Global Innovation Model for Medicines: A Civil Society Organizations’ Perspective - Francisco Rossi Buenaventura and Luis Guillermo Restrepo Vélez
  • Part III: Interventional Approaches
    • 6. Advancing Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Among Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Young Persons in India - Monika Arora, Abha Tewari, Shalini Bassi, Gaurang P. Nazar, Neeru S. Juneja, Melissa B. Harrell, Cheryl L. Perry, and K. Srinath Reddy
    • 7. Addressing the Vulnerability of Urban Poor Women to Negative Maternal and Newborn Health Outcomes - Geeta Sodhi and Skylab Sahu
  • Part IV: Multifaceted Movements
    • 8. International Poverty Law and Human Rights From Below: Latin American Affirmation of the Right to Health of Indigenous Peoples, Migrants, and the Displaced - Camilo Pérez-Bustillo
    • 9. Sociopolitics of HIV in Uganda: Proposing a Socio-Behavioural Movement in Response to Donor Politics and the Economic Erisis - Abraar Karan
    • 10. Health Impact Fund: Aligning Incentives - Thomas Pogge


‘As the world moves from the Millennium Development Goals to much more extensive Sustainable Development Goals, Sodhi and Karan are to be congratulated in giving us a timely reminder of the complexities involved.’
Saman Yazdani Khan, director of the Centre for Health and Population Studies, Pakistan

'Tracing ambiguities and contradictions in the commodification of medicine, the application of human rights to safeguard the health of poor people is illustrated with clarity and conviction. In an era of deepening divisions between the many and the few this is a critical contribution.'
Lucia D’Ambruoso, lecturer in global health, University of Aberdeen

‘This book is a comprehensive assessment of the health consequences of poverty: it is courageous in its honesty and appropriately demanding of its reader. We must act.’
Stephen Leeder, emeritus professor, The University of Sydney

'Protecting the Health of the Poor is an immensely important and timely volume. It sheds powerful light on movements of resistance and hope.'
Amiya Kumar Bagchi, emeritus professor, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata

‘Presents compelling evidence of diverse health inequities, traversing both political economy and political ecology, that continue to haunt global conscience.’
Rajib Dasgupta, Jawaharlal Nehru University

'A thought-provoking and provocative collection of essays that amount to an urgently needed call for action in promoting global health.'
Nicole Hassoun, Binghamton University


Publication Date: 15 December 2015
312 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783605521
Hardback: 9781783605538
eBook ePub: 9781783605552
eBook PDF: 9781783605545
eBook Kindle: 9781783605569

Appears in

Why is peer review so important?

Learn more about the various types of peer review, why it’s so important, what the social and political considerations of peer review are and how we use it at Zed Books.