In this special issue, we bring together anthropological and historical work that considers successive aspirations towards ‘health for all’: their pasts, their futures, and their diverse meanings and iterations. Across the world, hopes for providing ‘health for all’ were central to nation building in the long 20th century, and for international relations, particularly after the second world war and the establishment of the WHO. Health became seen as a fundamental good by citizens of North and South and has remained a central force shaping global and national politics until today. But what does ‘health for all’ actually mean, and how did it come to matter? In this introduction we approach ´health for´ all as a situated, multi-faceted phenomenon, that – while having a shared aspiration towards universality of access and equality of care – comes into focus in partial, diverse and contentious policies, programmes, projects and practices. The special issue highlights the diverse iterations that ´health for all´ has taken on the ground for different subjects and groups of people, bringing attention to the nuances of individual and collective stories and desires, beyond homogenising narratives that frame ´health for all´ in terms of either celebrative universalism or outright failure.

Fuente: Social Science & Medicine
Available online 6 January 2023, 115660