Dr Kamiar Alaei (Co-president, Institute for International Health and Education), gives a talk for the Middle East Studies Centre.
Chaired by Dr Nazila Ghanea (Associate Professor in International Human Rights Law, Department for Continuing Education).
Dr Kamiar Alaei's academic, medical and international public health project work has all navigated the art of advancing health (and later, also educational) concerns in conservative settings. When patients are condemned for having certain conditions in societies in which they are stigmatised, how can a step-by-step medical and humanitarian approach help in advancing responses and conditions? The record of Kamiar and Arash’s research and practice illustrates dramatic official u-turns in the provision of services for patients living with HIV/AIDS, STIs and IDUs in Iran and beyond. They broke down intransigent resistance in acknowledging the existence of such patients from government authorities, religious authorities and the wider public.
This pioneering methodology that they have utilised is one that crafts a pragmatic way forward from the conservative realities on the ground towards internationally agreed human rights standards. As such, its implications go beyond the experience they themselves have gained and documented in Iran, the Middle East and Central Asia, and can be applied in relation to other cultural obstacles to the advancement of health for disadvantaged populations in different contexts. This paper will both outline that record and share academic work in progress regarding the provision of related health services for women in a number of Middle Eastern contexts.