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How (not) to write about global health
  1. Desmond T Jumbam
  1. Accra, Greater Accra Region, Ghana
  1. Correspondence to Desmond T Jumbam; desmond.jumbam{at}

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There has been much talk recently in BMJ Global Health, in other journals, and on social media platforms, about equity in global health research. But there has been little guidance on how to write about global health in a way that advances equity and justice. Inspired by a famous satirical article by the Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina, I present some guidelines for how (not) to write about global health.1

It is frequently said that buy-in from local stakeholders is essential for the success of any global health project. Without local buy-in, your project is likely not to be adopted by the community and be sustainable. In order to ensure that your project has the buy-in of the community, set up a 1- to 2-day workshop with community members to get their input on the project for which you already have funding and a protocol. As long as this workshop is held, and you mention it in your final write-up, it will be clear to your readers that you were able to obtain the buy-in of the community. Do not pay too much attention to what is discussed at the workshop; you already understand the issues and know exactly what the community needs. Plus, you already have funding for this particular project, and it is unlikely that the project will change significantly based on the actual needs expressed at this workshop.

Let sustainability worry about itself when the time comes. Your main task at hand is to develop and execute your project successfully (by your …

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