“The Anatomy of Ephemeral Care” – December 2nd



are co-sponsoring the following talk program:

“The Anatomy of Ephemeral Care: “Health Camps” and Short-Term Medical Volunteers in Nepal”

 Speaker:    Dr. David Citrin, Fulbright Alumnus; and Affiliate Instructor, Departments of Anthropology & Global Health; Co-Director, Nepal Studies Initiative, University of Washington

 Date:         Wednesday, December 2, 2015

 Time:         3:00 p.m.

 Venue:       Fulbright Commission Auditorium, Gyaneshwor

This talk will examine “health camps” (swaasthya shivir) and medical voluntourism as emergent models of short-term care in Nepal. Health camps are stationary or mobile short-term medical interventions for target communities, lasting anywhere from a day to a week. The kinds and combinations of camps vary, from general health, dental, and eye camps to family planning, uterine prolapse, or other specialized surgical camps. Equally vast are the assemblages of institutions that organize them: non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—which have exploded in number throughout Nepal—other development and humanitarian organizations, private hospitals, and government divisions. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research and personal experience as a “medical voluntourist” in Nepal’s far northwest district of Humla, this talk will explore how and why people and medicine move in and between sites of intervention and situations of need. Health camps offer an important departure point for critical discussions about the social and political lives of medicines, the ethics of short-term medical care and voluntourism in settings of poverty, and the medicalization of unmet needs in a new era of global health efforts.


David is a medical anthropologist trained in global public health who has worked in Nepal since 2001. His early experiences as a “medical voluntourist” coordinating health camps in Karnali led him to critically reexamine the ethics and limitations of prominent models of ephemeral healthcare. David received his undergraduate education at Cornell University, and his PhD and MPH from the University of Washington, where he is an Affiliate Instructor in the Departments of Anthropology and Global Health, and co-directs the Nepal Studies Initiative at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. David is also the Director of Impact for Possible, which partners with the Government of Nepal to strengthen healthcare delivery systems.

Contact Info

Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies
c/o John Metz, Treasurer
1586 Rockhurst Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45255-2637

ANHS Kathmandu Research Center
54 Kantishree Marg, Baluwatar
Kathmandu, Nepal.