Jean Hunleth, PhD, MPH
, research scientist in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has published her first book, Children as Caregivers: The Global Fight against Tuberculosis and HIV in Zambia
. Hunleth, trained as an anthropologist with an interest in public health, examines how children act as caregivers to sick guardians in Lusaka, Zambia. Children as Caregivers
recognizes how well intentioned global health policies and programs fail to consider children’s caregiving roles. Through her long-term, ethnographic research with children and families in Lusaka, Hunleth makes children’s caregiving visible and shows why understanding their roles is critical to global health policy.
In Children as Caregivers, Hunleth tells the stories of young children who cared for parents and guardians during and after their tuberculosis treatment. Children expressed their emotions and household caregiving roles through drawings, role-plays, and conversations with Hunleth. Hunleth translated the children’s stories to advance and advocate global health policies that are more sensitive to children’s needs. Children as Caregivers provides unique perspectives on caring for a loved one suffering from illness, while trying to maintain schooling, household responsibilities, and social relationships. Follow the children’s journey with Dr. Hunleth through nearly 200 children’s drawings in her Children as Caregivers Flickr art gallery.
Children as Caregivers is available March 3, 2017 through Rutgers University Press, Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers.
“Children as Caregivers makes important contributions to a number of fields, including medical anthropology, global health, human rights studies, household research in Africa and the anthropology of children and childhoods. Hunleth’s research could not be more important or more timely given the way that HIV-related illnesses, such as tuberculosis, are changing and challenging traditional expectations about the roles and responsibilities of women, men and, especially, children in urban households in Zambia and elsewhere in Africa and around the world.”
- Helen B. Schwartzman, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, Northwestern University
Jean Hunleth has worked on issues related to health and infectious disease in Zambia since 1999, when she first lived in rural Eastern Province, Zambia, as a Peace Corps volunteer. Hunleth’s published works focus on children’s caregiving roles, children’s participation in health care programming, research methods for working with children in adversity, and the lived experience of healthcare inequalities in the United States and Zambia. She is a former Fulbright fellow and has received funding for her research and training from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the American Association of University Women, and the National Institutes of Health. Hunleth holds a doctorate degree in cultural anthropology and a master’s degree in public health from Northwestern University and received postdoctoral training in community-based cancer research at Washington University in St. Louis. She is currently a research scientist in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University.