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Health care in crisis: Access to quality (cancer) care during and after health emergencies in Africa


23. November 2023
16:00 - 17:00

Anna Spiegel Forschungsgebäude
Lazarettgasse 14
1090 Wien


Ruth Kutalek, Department of Social- and Preventive Medicine, Center for Public Health, Medical University Vienna

Specializing in the anthropology of infectious diseases, I am interested in how patients, relatives, health workers and communities behave during outbreaks of highly contagious and/or lethal diseases such as Ebola Virus Disease, Lassa Fever, and lately COVID-19. In order to analyze this behavior, in critical medical anthropology we not only reflect on social, cultural and religious aspects that may influence behavior, we also take into account the different layers of structural and political conditions that enable (or disable) certain behavior.

In this talk I will reflect on public health care, including cancer care, during and after emergencies in East and West African countries, drawing from my project experiences in Uganda and my WHO engagement in outbreak response in Liberia.