Hello, Caste and castism related atrocities are an inhuman reality for millions living in countries such as India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, SriLanka.
This marginalized population invariably contributes most to the staggering morbidity and mortality figures from these countries. Yet, none of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or the Social determinants of health (summary) papers speak to their problems and health inequity.
I hope we will get further on this problem after the WHO World Conference on Social Determinants of Health on the 19-21 October 2011. Dr.Jeff Waage, from the MDGs group, acknowledged this issue in one of my email conversations with him on this issue.
This is what he wrote to me, “I think our inter-disciplinary team shares your view that there is a lot more to do and the issue of inequity, embodied in castism in India, is a particular shortcoming of the way in which we have constructed the MDGs.” Canada receives a lot of immigrants from these countries where castism is rampant. Thus, Canada should be at the forefront to bring the castism issue up at the conference and make sure that it is made loud and clear in the position paper.
I am a clinician-scientist and interested in Global health issues particularly pertaining to social determinants of health and health equity. My current research focuses on the castism related issues. Thank you for your interest in the topic of social determinants.
Dr. Smita Pakhalé, MD, FRCPC, MSc (Epi & Biostat) Associate Scientist – Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Assistant Professor – University of Ottawa Staff Respirologist – Division of Respiratory Medicine The Ottawa Hospital 501 Smyth Road Ottawa, Ontario Canada https://ontariohealthstudy.ca/