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Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

Health and Medicine in Conflict and Humanitarianism

This area aims to understand the ways which health and medicine are changed through encounters with conflict, humanitarian settings and long-term emergencies.

This includes the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the impact that those have on health interventions and on medical technologies, broadly conceived.

This research is inspired by the observation that not only do conflicts and disasters have major health implications, but they also have an impact on the practice of medicine both within and beyond such situations.

Implications of health interventions

Child receiving injection
American Red Cross

Further, medical practices and interventions taken in the name of health often have profoundly political implications, particularly in conflict and crisis situations, in that they are accepted insofar as they serve various and sometimes conflicting political agendas. These broader implications raise significant social and ethical questions about the conduct of both medicine and humanitarianism.

HCRI research in this area thus evaluates the broad implications of health interventions in humanitarian, post-conflict and other emergency situations, in particular as they address issues of therapeutic interventions, mental health and trauma; non-communicable and communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS; emergency medicine and the politics of the treatment of injuries and amputations, amongst numerous other topics.

Reflecting the inter-disciplinary mandate of the HCRI, our research in this area is guided by the belief that it is necessary to bring together the insights of medical experts alongside medical anthropology, the sociology of health and illness, and the history of medicine, applied drama, and the field of global health governance, in order to fully understand the impact of health interventions in contemporary humanitarian practice.

Academic staff

Rony Brauman, Amy Hughes, Anisa Jafar, Rubina Jasani, Mukesh Kapila, Tanja Müller, Tony Redmond and Bertrand Taithe.

  • People - find out more about our staff

PhD candidates

Amy Hughes, Obi Ojimiwe and Molly Maneck.

Key publications and resources

  • Brauman, Rony (2009) Humanitarian Medicine
  • Müller, Tanja R (2010) Changing Resource Profiles: Aspirations Among Orphans in Central Mozambique in the Context of an AIDS Mitigation. Intervention Journal of Development Studies 46(2): 254-273.