Dear Neil, empowering means to give others power to master their life and environment. I empower a girl if I make her go to school and study with profit for her future life. She will empower her children as well. Indeed education is the empowernent number one in history.
In health aspects the best empowernent tool was and is even today the book: Where there is no doctor (WTIND), the message in it being "health is within your capacity", your living style and not in drugs or doctors. Drugs kill: it is well written in the book.
Disempowerment conversely is exerted whenever there is a message/advertisement on/in favor of drugs, whatever drug including traditional ones. Also advertisements of powder milk as substitute of breast milk have caused enormous damage to our western societies, they are now widespreading in poor countries.
In conclusion: whenever there is "medicine-done-for-profit" one can be sure that disempowerment is at stake.
Greetings from Dodoma
HIFA Profile: Massimo Serventi is a long-standing Pediatrician working in Africa since 1982. He currently works on a volunteer basis in an excellent missionary/credited hospital in north Uganda, St. Mary's Hospital-Lacor-GULU. He has worked for several NGOs in 6 African/2 Asian countries. His interests include clinical and community pediatrics, adherence to clinical guidelines and school education as the major determinant of good health.