Dr. Jennifer Prah delivers 2023 McAuley Oration in Global Health
Faculty & Research
Dr. Jennifer Prah, the Amartya Sen Professor of Health Equity, Economics, and Policy at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), delivered the annual McAuley Oration in Global Health at the Otago Global Health Institute’s 15th Annual Conference on November 14 and 15 in Dunedin, New Zealand.
“Professor Prah is a world-leading scholar of global health policy in public health,” said Session Chair Dr. Elizabeth Fenton. “A true polymath, her expertise spans economics, law, philosophy, and political science. At the heart of her multifaceted body of research is an account of global justice grounded in the Aristotelian notion of human flourishing. From here she has developed a framework for global health justice that aims to protect the ability of all persons to be healthy, no matter where in the world they live.”
In her lecture, Prah discussed her work on health capabilities, also the focus of a recent Penn Today article. Prah presented her health capability profile, a set of eight internal and seven external components that help determine an individual’s ability to achieve and maintain health. She also discussed how the profile can be applied in public health settings, such as addressing chronic hepatitis B in rural Senegal or the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Germany, Taiwan, and South Korea.
“This is an attempt to try to understand a very complex set of capabilities that make up a person’s overall ability to be healthy, and grounded in the idea that creating these conditions and developing these internal and external capabilities is a priority for justice,” said Prah. “It’s what we owe each other. And so if we owe each other goods, then we need to understand how we effectuate that duty. And in order to effectuate that duty, we need to understand from individuals themselves what their experiences are.”
Watch the lecture video below:
The McAuley Oration, the keynote named oration linked to the conference, has been given by global health researcher leaders from around the world. It is named after the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley. Mercy Hospital Dunedin endowed the McAuley chair.
The 2023 conference theme, “Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to global health: global citizen versus good neighbor?” explored whether New Zealand’s contribution to global health could be more globally equitable.
The Otago Global Health Institute is a research and research training institute that is one of Otago University’s twelve flagship research centers. Established in 2008, the institute involves researchers from all faculties and campuses of the university, along with international collaborators.
Jennifer J. Prah, PhD
Amartya Sen Professor of Health Equity, Economics, and Policy