Document Type : Commentary
Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
Institute for Global Health, University College London, London, UK
Department of Population Health Sciences, Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
College of Public Health Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia
Medical professionals exercised structural and productive power in the Global Fund’s Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) in Nigeria, directly impacting the selection of approaches to HIV/AIDS care, as described in a case study by Lassa and colleagues. This research contributes to a robust scholarship on how biomedical power inhibits a holistic understanding of health and prevents the adoption of solutions that are socially grounded, multidisciplinary, and co-created with communities. We highlight Lassa and colleagues’ findings demonstrating the ‘long arm’ of global health institutions in country-level health policy choices, and reflect on how medical dominance within global institutions serves as a tool of control in ways that pervert incentives and undermine equity and effectiveness. We call for increased research and advocacy to surface these conduits of power and begin to loosen their hold in the global health policy agenda.