Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

Annual Report 2016 of Wemos

Annual Report 2016 of Wemos

"2016 was a special and dynamic year for Wemos. We said goodbye to our director: Anke Tijtsma decided to choose a new path and left Wemos as of September 1st to pursue a master’s degree. During the thirteen years in which she worked for Wemos, and in particular during the last five years as the director, she has left her mark on the course the organization has chosen. One of her many achievements was the realization of the concept ‘Health Unlimited’, which concisely summarizes Wemos’ way of thinking. ‘Our health is what connects us with one another,’ is something Anke often stated. What happens here, influences other people globally, and vice versa. Health issues also go beyond the borders of separate policy domains; this is why coherent policy is needed for a global approach. The board of directors and staff are grateful for all that she has achieved for Wemos, which was also clearly expressed at her well-attended farewell party.

Together, we are stronger. This approach was the basis for Wemos’ initiative to start the ‘Geneva Global Health Hub’: a digital and physical platform for civil society organizations to join forces in advocacy. In addition, the Health Systems Advocacy Partnership was launched – a five-year programme in which we pursue our advocacy for sustainable health workforce, good governance and financing for health. Together with Amref, Health Action International (HAI), African Centre for Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have committed ourselves to strengthening health systems.

To open doors for our advocacy, we used creative methods to reach our audience and politicians. In November, we did a unique test on four Dutch members of parliament: we tested their urine to determine if and how many endocrine-disrupting chemicals they had in their bodies. With a clear result: all four had these chemicals in their bodies. The consumer programme Radar broadcasted the politicians’ shocked reactions to the test result in one of its episodes. This example shows the importance of Wemos’ work: to critically, yet constructively ensure that policymakers and politician stake their responsibility to make policy that protects our health.

The past year has been special for another reason too: it marked Wemos’ 35th anniversary. Although much has changed over recent years, our main objective has remained unchanged: to advocate health for all, worldwide. This upcoming year we will continue our advocacy for policy that protects our health globally. The board of directors is thankful for what the entire staff as well as partners of Wemos have achieved in 2016."

Mr. E.J. (Ed) Rutters
Chairman of the Board of Directors

Document Actions