Summary of Talk:
China has engaged in health aid to Africa for as long as diplomatic ties have developed between the PRC and post-colonial African states in the 1960s. Through the dissemination of Chinese medical teams, the cost-effective distribution of Chinese medicines, the donations of biomedical equipment, and the building of hospitals and clinics, China's health aid has tended toward a more horizontal approach to health aid than the normative vertical health aid provided from OECD countries. But do these differences in approaches to aid make a difference in impact? This presentation, based on a review of the literature and data sets collected from Aid Data, as well as recent field work in Madagascar, assesses the impact of China's health aid and attempts to determine if, and how, the type of health aid provided and the manner in which it is delivered makes a difference in impact on healthcare systems and ultimately on the health of populations. Examining China's health aid through an historical lens, can also provide an assessment of how political economic ideologies embedded in health aid may impact health outcomes. Lastly, we examine the potential negative outcomes of foreign aid in assessing economist Dambisa Moyo's thesis that Africa is better off without foreign aid.
Paul Kadetz is Director of the Undergraduate (BSc Hons.) Program in Public Health at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China and honorary lecturer at The University of Liverpool. He is a research associate of The Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford and an associate of the China Centre for Health and Humanity at University College London. He has worked as both a researcher and a facilitator and rapporteur for the Western Pacific Region Office of the World Health Organization and has completed technical reports for WHO, UNAIDS and USAID. His research on health diplomacy, global health & safety and healthcare challenges in China, The Philippines, Cuba, Guatemala, Madagascar and post-Katrina New Orleans has been published extensively. His co-edited volume, “The Handbook of Welfare in China”, published by Edward Elgar, is forthcoming.