A headshot of Amy Zhou

On June 20, 2021, Amy Zhou, assistant professor of sociology, published new research in the journal Global Public Health, titled “Limits of neoliberalism: HIV, COVID-19, and the importance of healthcare systems in Malawi.” This article investigates sub-Saharan African nations’ handling of COVID-19 in comparison to the countries’ earlier handling of the HIV/AIDs epidemic and explores the global health factors that influence how governments respond to pandemics and other large-scale health crises.

By examining the healthcare system and pandemic response in Malawi, Professor Zhou interrogates the continued influence of neoliberalism on global health structures, finding that Malawi, like many other sub-Saharan African nations, has become reliant on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide essential healthcare in place of government-funded services. Based on these findings, Professor Zhou concludes that neoliberal structures have led to a “grafting” of the healthcare work of NGOs with the work of governments, compounding the risks of COVID-19 in this region.