Lu Chen

Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, University of Exeter

2023 to 2024
Research Fellow

Alternative Road to Alma-Ata: Social Medicine and Socialist Medicine Roots of Primary Health Care from the Third World

This project examines the socialist medicine and social medicine roots of Primary Health Care in Asia and Africa. It takes China, India, and Tanzania as sites for different ideas to display, debate, and develop under certain social, political, economic, historical, and cultural contexts. It seeks to identify the health cultures and practices produced by different strands of socialism in Asia and Africa, which created political divergences that impacted ideas of health and well-being, state management of the sphere of human existence, and the space given to communities being served in relation to decision-making. It provides a nuanced assessment of socialist internationalism, socialist and leftist movements, different approaches of socialist medicine and social medicine interwoven in the development of community-based healthcare practices in China, India, and Tanzania. It aims to identify the roles played by the so-called second and third-world countries in global health agenda-setting.