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…

Changing perspectives, Infrastructuring care

MICHELA COZZA On 21 March 2020, during the first COVID-19 pandemic peak in Italy, a group of doctors working at the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, published an article titled “At the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic and humanitarian crises in Italy: Changing perspectives on preparation and mitigation” (Nacoti et al., 2020). This title…

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…

“Stay Safe, Shirley. I’ll See You Shortly!”

Conducting Fieldwork with People with Dementia Before, and (Hopefully) After the Pandemic. CRISTINA DOUGLAS 12th March 2020 I look forward to Thursdays. It’s the day when Sarah and Bonnie, her Labradoodle therapet, visit the care home where I conduct my fieldwork. For the last two months, I’ve been regularly visiting Golden Age Care Home for…

Care Labour and Isolation in Italy: New Ethical Challenges Part Two

FRANCESCO DIODATI In the last post, I wrote about the effects of the COVID-19 emergency on elderly care in Italy and the new ethical challenges that emerged in one of the most aged countries in the world under the current crisis. I discussed how the main issue has become how to balance the risk of…

Care Labour and Isolation in Italy: New Ethical Challenges Part One

FRANCESCO DIODATI Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, I’ve decided to make a report on the effects of isolation politics on care labour in Italy, starting from the way the new scenario was reshaping my ethnographic research on elder care in Emilia-Romagna. Emilia-Romagna is one of the northern regions most affected by contagion and…

Coronavirus- Is this our Microbiopolitical Moment?

DARREN OLLERTON Despite following the early emergence of coronavirus with zeal — a combination of intellectual intrigue and morbid fascination with the science fiction potential of pandemic — it took me some time to fully digest the wholesale impact of the current contagion. I can’t deny that this may also have been somewhat facilitated by…