Consuming Health or Disease?

Today worldwide there is an apparent increase in the number of diseases and issues of health. With the increase in the number of diseases, we see subsequent co-proliferation of technological tools and methods in various health systems. Also, every culture and society has its own perception of health and illness. Therefore, the notions of health and disease are shaped by various forces like people, organizations, institutions, social discovery, that cast our understanding of them and actions towards health, illness, and healing.

For example, witchcraft believes in evil spirits inflict diseases and Ayurveda sees disease as a physical rather than a supernatural entity which led to a search for physical remedies from plants, animals, and soil. Similarly, Homeopathy recognizes medication drugs as merely an aid to assist the body in healing itself. Said that, given the complexity of biological systems and disease processes, none of the systems fully meet the expectations of patients, and therefore, we see patients shift from one system to “other” and co-existence of them.

In current times we experience biomedicine defines who is ill and healthy and what resources are required to be mobilized. Isn’t it an imperative then to ask why we are told that everyone is at risk of getting disease and prevention is better than cure? In this talk, what is the role of the pharmaceutical industry in defining our health and diseases is highlighted.

This is the 4th video of ‘BeyondHeadlines Online Lecture Series’:

WASEEM AKBER BABA, pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology, University of Delhi. His doctoral research is about the social construction of Tuberculosis: An ethnographic study.


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