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The Department of History, Political Science, Geography, & Africana Studies at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, invites academics, independent scholars, policymakers, professionals, healthcare stakeholders, and graduate students to present papers at its eighth annual conference on the theme, Health Issues in Africa and the African Diaspora. The conference will be held virtually. All panel presentations and keynote addresses will be via the Zoom platform.
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Africa and the African diaspora provides an opportunity to turn a searchlight on the state of public health in these spaces. Of all the racial groups in the United States, African Americans have historically benefitted the least from the nation’s healthcare system that continues to be characterized by systemic disparities. Thus, African Americans have suffered disproportionally from debilitating ailments due to lack of adequate access to healthcare, a direct impact of social and economic inequalities inherent in the American system.
In Africa, many states have failed woefully to invest adequately in the health sector such that today they lack a system sufficiently capable of catering for the needs of the citizenry. Typical of the African healthcare sector is inadequate access to health care, limited scientific research and innovation, and shortage of modern health facilities. Compounding this challenge is the massive flight of healthcare professionals especially to the global north. The result is that large sections of the African population, particularly rural-based people, do not have their medical care needs met.
Whether in Africa or the African Diaspora, Black people continue to face significant healthcare challenges. The marginalization of the black community globally in healthcare benefits is quite glaring. The ongoing catastrophic global pandemic has demonstrated quite clearly the disproportionate impact of illnesses on Black people. African Americans remain less likely than their White counterparts to receive the COVID-19 vaccines due to a variety of social factors including education, housing, socio-economic status, and employment, leaving them at increased risk of hospitalization and death. In Africa, most countries are in severe shortage of the COVID-19 vaccines, making access to them rather limited. This dismal reality on both sides of the Atlantic compels a closer look at the subject of healthcare in both constituencies.
The conference will provide a platform for participants to critically examine the historical trajectories of healthcare in Africa and the African Diaspora, and its contemporary state. We seek scholarly papers on the theme of the conference that are not overtly technical.
The sub-themes and potential topics around which the conference is organized may include but are not limited to the following:
Healthcare in global Africa in historical perspectives
History of pandemics: SARS, HIV/AIDS, COVID-19
Politics and public health
Public health foundations, funded programs, and private initiatives
Political economy of public health
Poverty and health
Healthcare systems and reforms
Healthcare and health insurance
Healthcare and infrastructural development
Educational institutions and healthcare
Healthcare in inner cities and rural communities
Health education and public knowledge
Women, children, and healthcare
Indigenous medicine and traditional healing practices
Environmental impacts on health
Mental health issues
Health crises and global responses
Ethics and health
Perspectives on health disabilities
Health and religious beliefs
Social Determinants of health
Disease control and prevention
Racial, gender, and regional disparities in healthcare
Migration of healthcare workers
Telehealth and health innovations
Vaccine availability and hesitancy
Healthcare funding and expenditures
Healthcare education, training, and research
Legal issues in healthcare
Socio-economic impact of COVID-19
Digital healthcare and wellness
Each prospective presenter should submit electronically an abstract of 500 words or less by Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. Abstract prepared as Microsoft Word document should include the presenter’s name, title of paper, institutional affiliation, and contact information (mailing address, phone number, and email address). Abstracts should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org (Note that the submission of an abstract automatically grants conference organizers the right to publish it in the conference program and website).
Mandatory non-refundable registration fees are:
Regular: Regular: $50 by Dec. 31, 2021; late: $60 by Feb. 15, 2022.
Graduate Students: $25 by Dec. 31, 2021; late: $30 by Feb. 15, 2022.
To register for the conference, go to the conference website.
Publication of Selected Papers
Conference papers will be eligible for publication consideration in a scholarly peer-reviewed format.
Dr. Adebayo Oyebade
Department of History, Political Science, Geography, & Africana Studies
Tenneesee State University
Nashville, TN 37209