Thursday, October 29, 2020

[Presentation] Launch of the Global State of Harm Reduction 2020

On October 28, 2020, I joined Harm Reduction International in the online launch of the 7th edition of the The Global State of Harm Reduction - a biannual report that provides an independent analysis of harm reduction developments in the world. 

In the online launch, I shared key updates about harm reduction and drug policy currents in Asia, as the author of the Asia chapter the GSHR 2020. Ganna Dovbakh and Jorgelina di Loro gave similar updates from Eurasia and Latin America, respectively, while Naomi Burke-Shyne, Executive Director of Harm Reduction International, offered an introduction and synthesis. Colleen Daniels, Deputy Director of HRI, moderated.  

The report is available online. Aside from regular updates, it features a chapter that reviews the impacts of COVID-19 on harm reduction services worldwide. The 2020 report is also more explicit in highlighting the interconnectedness of harm reduction and illnesses like hepatitis C and tuberculosis. Key themes in the Asia chapter include the continuation of drug wars and punitive drug regimes, the rise of methamphetamine and NPS (hence, the need for harm reduction services for people who use those drugs), as well as the impacts of drug policies on women.

Monday, October 12, 2020

[Presentation] 16th World Congress on Public Health 2020 - 'Hypertension multiple': Patients' experiential knowledge

At the 16th World Congress on Public Health 2020 held virtually from October 13-16, 2020, I presented preliminary findings of ongoing research on the 'multiplicity' of hypertension, using patient's experiential knowledge as starting point. The organized session featured the work of the RESPOND study, which is a collaboration between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila, and partner universities in Malaysia.

In this particular sub-study, which builds on already-published work on local conceptions of hypertension, we draw in particular from science and technology studies, particular the scholarship of Annemarie Mol (2002), who goes further and demanding that we acknowledge the multiplicity within one condition. Using atherosclerosis as illustrative example, she presented the illness not as one entity but as many, it is made to cohere through various practices - of measuring, sensing, narrating, and visualizing. How would hypertension look like if we construct it from patient practices - not as a lens through which we view the patient? And which form hypertension would take if we also account for how patient experiences and practices are intertwined with the practices of clinicians or healthcare researchers in the making of hypertension?

The panel chaired by Martin McKee and Dina Balabanova also featured presentations from RESPOND collaborators include Jhaki Mendoza, Benjamin Palafox, Maureen Seguin, and Marysol Balane. You can find out more about our research group in RESPOND's Twitter account.