UCL Institute of the Americas


Medicine and Public Health in Latin America: A History

05 October 2015, 5:30 pm–7:30 pm

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UCL Institute of the Americas


UCL Institute of the Americas

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Marcos Cueto (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro) and Dr Chris Abel (UCL) - This book -part of the Cambridge series New Approaches to the Americas- summarizes a rich and growing social, political and cultural history of Latin American medicine produced in the past few decades. Three principal propositions animate this book.  The first is that medicine and health are at the core of the history of Latin America, from the demographic disaster wrought since the 16th century by epidemic disease following conquest to the impact of medical leaders of the late 20th century like Ernesto Guevara and Salvador Allende.  In the second place, that the interaction between indigenous, Afro-American, Asian and Western medical ideas and practices was a defining feature of 19th and 20th centuries' Latin American healing. Thirdly, the book argues that 20th century public health in the region developed as a play between palliative official interventions and efforts on the part popular sectors to confront adversity and promote holistic programs of sanitation and development.

Professor Marcos Cueto is a Peruvian historian that received his PhD in Latin American History from Columbia University, New York. He has been a visiting professor at several universities including Princeton and Stanford and has received fellowships from major agencies such as the Guggenheim Foundation. Since 2011, he is a professor at the Program in the History of Health and Science at the Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, in Rio de Janeiro and editor of the journal História, Ciências Saúde - Manguinhos published by the Casa Oswaldo Cruz. His previous more recent book is: Cold War and Deadly Fevers: Malaria Eradication in Mexico, 1955-1970 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014). He is currently working on a book on the history of the World Health Organization in the context of the Cold-War and post-Cold War periods and beginning a new research project on Global Health and Latin America during the turn of the 21st century.