A Letter to Matt Hancock

URSULA WHITE February 2021 Dear Secretary of State, I am writing to express my concern on discovering that, as of February 2021, Operose Health has acquired AT Medics, a company that currently has contracts to operate 49 GP London surgeries (Lacobucci 2021). Operose Health was created in January 2020 as a subsidiary of Centene, a…

Letter to Jens Spahn

JASMIN SIMAO AJAYI Dear Mr. Spahn,   I am a German citizen from Munich, currently in my final year of studying Anthropology at the University College London (UCL). I am writing to you today to address an issue that has come to my attention recently: the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on economically disadvantaged and minority ethnic people in…

It’s Not A Sin: improving HIV/AIDS education in the UK

PIA KEELEY-JOHNSON Dear Gavin Williamson,  I am a queer woman living in London who, like more than 18.9 million people1 who sat down to watch Russell Davies’ hit show It’s A Sin over the last two months, just received the best HIV/AIDS education of my 23 years of life from a TV drama. I was not totally ignorant to…

Eating Disorders, Education, and TikTok

EMILIE THOMPSON 28th February 2021  Dear Mrs Murdoch,  Please let me express my enormous gratitude for the work you and your team continue to conduct in the face of the current pandemic. The NHS are demonstrating unwavering resilience and dedication that is nothing short of inspiring.   As a postgraduate student from UCL, I write in response…

An Epidemic of Loneliness

PEPE WEISCHER Dear Mr Spahn, The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has strained the capacity of the German health system in unprecedented ways, but it seems to me that one crucial aspect of lockdown measures has been profoundly undermined: the loss of social cohesion and mental health support for children and adolescents. By no means do I…

A Letter for Malcolm Reed

TANYA SHARMA Dear Professor Malcolm Reed, (Lead Co-Chair of the Medical Schools Council), I am a medical student in the UK writing to you to discuss the teaching we have had on Social Determinants of Health as part of our medical education and how it may be beneficial for this to be further developed and…

A Letter to Tedros A. Ghebreyesus

AY NASSIMOLDINA Dear Dr Tedros A. Ghebreyesus,   The world is in a vulnerable state right now, and we have trusted you with the World Health Organization to lead us through a global health crisis. However, it is so vital not to relax or neglect health issues that might be veiled with seemingly optimal solutions. I appreciate and…

A Letter to Andrew Selous

SHOLA AJAO Dear Mr Andrew Selous,   It is unfortunate that I find myself writing to you again during these unprecedented times. As you may recall, I wrote July of last year concerning the case of Belly Mujinga, a black woman, a victim of a racially motivated attack, who later died after being spat on whilst working…

Fighting Inequality by Improving NHS Dental and Oral Care

MAXINE PEPPER 22nd March 2021  Dear Sir Stevens,  RE: Fighting inequality by improving NHS dental and oral care  The COVID-19 pandemic brought the discourse on health back to the heart of society. I personally cannot remember ever talking about health and illness prevention more than during the previous 12 months. Given your long list of recent media appearances, I believe you must feel the same. However, my anthropology…

Advocacy Letters: Anthropological Calls for Public and Global Health Change

Series Introduction CARRIE RYAN For the next few weeks, the UCL Medical Anthropology blog will run a special series called ‘Advocacy Letters: Anthropological Calls for Public and Global Health Change.’ This series will showcase nine Advocacy Letters written by UCL anthropology undergraduates and postgraduates. In these letters, students use anthropological insights to advocate for change on a variety of health-related topics, including, for example, dental care, loneliness, and vaccine hesitancy.    These Advocacy Letters…

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Consciously (Re)Quarantined

As nations across Europe find the inevitable domino of new national lockdowns knocking into them, we may all approach ‘this time’ differently from the last. During the interim a lot has happened to reconfigure our realities, both politically and pandemically: Black Lives Matter, the US elections, the French terrorist attacks…sparks are flying, and we all…

Excavating and recreating the biosocial; birth cohorts as ethnographic object of inquiry and site of intervention

Sahra Gibbon & Michelle Pentecost Longitudinal birth cohorts are increasingly recognised as important for understanding how biological, social and environmental processes interact over time and contribute to health inequalities. Birth cohorts have also become part of global assemblages of knowledge production, particularly in the field of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD, Gluckman…

MSc in Biosocial Medical Anthropology- Student Reflections

I joined the MSc Biosocial Medical Anthropology after working for two years at a small education charity in London. I had really enjoyed studying anthropology at undergraduate, particularly as my course had offered modules in both social and biological anthropology. I found the point of interaction between the sub-disciplines really interesting, and was keen to…