Clearly, anthropology has much to bring to the task of comprehending and effectively addressing health problems related to urban poverty. Anthropological research has effectively represented and portrayed the sociocultu-ral, biological, and structural components of health and disease for the urban poor. Rich ethnographic descriptions illuminate the complexities of the daily struggles of the urban poor, while capturing the historical processes and political and economic roots of their vulnerability to unnecessarily high rates of morbidity and mortality. The concept of urban syndemics permits an understanding of the compounding and mutually interactive effects of poverty and exposure to multiple health threats. An integrated anthropological analysis of individual experience, local level knowledge, and broader societal and structural factors clarifies exactly how disease devastates the urban poor. It also demonstrates the immense challenges to providing effective and sustainable health care, affordable treatment, and health therapy to the urban poor worldwide. Continued rigorous anthropological research on urban poverty that documents the micro- and macro-determinants of health and disease is necessary:
(1) to advocate for the urban poor
(2) facilitate their empowerment, and
(3) influence policy change
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