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Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, July 2009

MMI Network News, July 2009

Editorial: Summertime (in Basel, Switzerland)

 

Dear Reader,

Please do not expect too much from a summertime editorial. It is hot these days here in Basel, Switzerland, and the bureaucrat of the Medicus Mundi International Network is not so much used to working in a tropical climate. Networking itself also becomes slower; people do not react as fast as expected to the messages sent to them. This will become worse within the next weeks, as the heat – and the summer holidays – will reach our Network members in the North of the continent.

The Network secretariat – which is a one man company, as most of you know -  will be closed in the two last weeks of July. But my colleagues of the Medicus Mundi Switzerland Network will answer the phone when you try to call us, and eventually even your e-mail messages will be answered – depending on the internet connectivity of the secretary’s holiday resort…

Otherwise: See you again in August!

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International Network

 

In memoriam Harrie Van Balen

In memoriam Harrie Van Balen
The Medicus Mundi International Network mourns the death of its former President Professor Harrie Van Balen (*16.8.1930 †20.6.2009). For all Network members and partners who wish to leave a note for the memory of Harrie we have created a book of condolences

on our electronic platform.

 

 

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It is with great sadness we received the message of the decease of Professor Harrie Van Balen. Harrie served on the Executive Board of Medicus Mundi International for two terms and his presidency has been of great significance to Medicus Mundi International. To many of us and to many health workers that were deployed overseas in developing countries through the members of Medicus Mundi International in the eighties and the nineties, Harrie has been a great friend and a source of inspiration. Many will remember Harrie as their most friendly and committed professor, someone who always put the position of the poor in less developed countries right in the centre of our attention. On behalf of all the members of Medicus Mundi International I would like to wish to his family a lot of courage and strength in these difficult moments.

Guus Eskens, President
Medicus Mundi International Network

 

Network Events and News

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MMI Network Event: Graduate Institute, Geneva
Negotiating health in the 21st century: Regional voices in global health governance
Geneva, 15 October 2009


3rd Symposium on Global Health Diplomacy. "On occasion of the establishment of GLOBAL HEALTH EUROPE: A Platform for European Engagement in Global Health the Global Health Programme at the Graduate Institute, Geneva is hosting a high level symposium to explore the emerging regional dimension of global public health." (The Graduate Institute is a member of the Medicus Mundi Switzerland Network)

http://graduateinstitute.ch/globalhealth/home/page6404.html

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MMI Network Event: Medicus Mundi Switzerland
Chronic Diseases in Developing and Newly Industrialized Countries: A new challenge for Global Health
Basel, 10 November 2009

8th Symposium of the Medicus Mundi Switzerland Network. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths. This invisible epidemic is an under-appreciated cause of poverty and hinders the economic development of many countries. Contrary to common perception, 80% of chronic disease deaths occur in low and middle income countries. A challenge for not only for these countries, but for global health policy and also for the NGOs working in the field of international health. (First announcements available in German and French)

http://www.medicusmundi.ch/mms/services/events/Symposium2009

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MMI Network News
MMI Network Updates on “Twitter”


MMI Secretariat | We have just started to publish small bits and pieces of news on international health policy and cooperation on the real-time short messaging service "Twitter". Have a look at them!  – The MMI Network members action medeor and Cordaid are also “twitting”.

MMI updates: http://twitter.com/mmi_updates  
action medeor: http://twitter.com/actionmedeor  
Cordaid partners: http://twitter.com/cordaidpartners

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MMI Network News: Cordaid
Global Communities of Change

Cordaidpartners | ” Cordaid strongly believes that development is essentially about change in human and in power relations. The ambition of Cordaid is to be the best possible social change agent we can be. To meet the challenges we are faced with, new international relationships are needed. And we need to change the existing ones. Cordaid launched the concept of Global Communities of Change. The GCoC idea puts the emphasis on cooperation rather on development, building alliances, joining forces in the pursuance of an overlapping change agenda.”

http://www.cordaidpartners.com/posts/254-global-communities-for-change


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Publish your news and announce your upcoming events on our ePlatform and in our e-mail newsletter!

 

MMI Key Issues and Network Topics: Reports, Resources, Events

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MMI Key Issue: Global Health
Who runs global health?


Lancet | ”The past two decades have seen dramatic shifts in power among those who share responsibility for leading global health. In 1990, development assistance for health - a crude, but still valid measure of influence - was dominated by the UN system (WHO, UNICEF, and UNFPA) and bilateral development agencies in donor countries. Today, while donor nations have maintained their relative importance, the UN system has been severely diluted.” (The Lancet,  20 June 2009)

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61128-4/fulltext

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MMI Key Issue: Global Health
Why the world needs global health initiatives


WHO | ”I think we can now let a long-standing and divisive debate die down. This is the debate that pits single-disease initiatives against the agenda for strengthening health systems. It is time to start listening to the evidence, and not to anecdotal reports or to praises or criticisms founded on ideology rather than on evidence.” (WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan addressing the high-level dialogue on maximizing positive synergies between health systems and global health initiatives, 22 June 2009)

http://www.who.int/dg/speeches/2009/global_health_initiatives_20090622/en/index.html

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MMI Key Issue: Research Priorities and Partnerships
Strengthening research capacity in Africa


Lancet | ”As part of its African Institutions Initiative, the Wellcome Trust announced the formation of seven new international consortia, each led by an African institution. By developing research networks and building a critical mass of sustainable research capacity across Africa, local ability to tackle disease and poverty will be improved..” (The Lancet,  4 July 2009)

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61213-7/fulltext

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MMI Key Issue: Health Workforce Migration
Should Medical Education Fight International Brain Drain?

   
PHM-Exch| ”While there are many examples of physicians who provide care under difficult and dangerous conditions, there are also those who put their personal interests first. The migration of physicians to certain specialties or to wealthier nations illustrates the interplay between patients’ access to care and physicians’ personal interests and alerts policymakers to the fact that physicians and other health workers often allow income and lifestyle considerations to determine their choice of the ‘greenest pasture’” (In: Virtual Mentor, July 2009, Medicine in the Era of Globalization)

http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2009/07/ccas2-0907.html

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MMI Key Issue: NGO governance
NGOs and the Global Financial Crisis


eldis community | ”The global financial crisis impacts on all NGOs - big and small, urban and rural, local and international. For some NGOs the impact is immediate, for others the real impact will only be known in months to come. The crisis is once again highlighting the need for NGOs to review their funding and sustainability models.” (A collection of articles by SANGONET NGO pulse)

http://www.ngopulse.org/blogs/ngos-and-global-financial-crisis

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MMI Key Issue: Global Health
The Economic Crisis and Public Health

   
PHM-Exch | “The current global economic crisis seriously threatens the health of the public. Challenges include increases in malnutrition; homelessness and inadequate housing; unemployment; substance abuse, depression, and other mental health problems; mortality; child health problems; violence; environmental and occupational health problems; and social injustice and violation of human rights; as well as decreased availability, accessibility, and affordability of quality medical and dental care. Health professionals can respond by promoting surveillance and documentation of human needs, reassessing public health priorities, educating the public and policymakers about health problems worsened by the economic crisis, advocating for sound policies and programs to address these problems, and directly providing necessary programs and services…” (Editorial in: Social Medicine - Vol 4, No 2, 2009)

http://journals.sfu.ca/socialmedicine/index.php/socialmedicine/issue/view/38/showToc

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MMI Key Issue: Health Care Financing
Performance Incentives for Global Health: Potential and Pitfalls

   
CGD | “Over the last decade, donors have poured billions of dollars into health programs in developing countries. But despite some important successes, many low-income countries are still falling short, particularly in areas that require a functioning health system. We explore a new approach to health funding - the transfer of money or goods to patients or providers when they take health-related actions or achieve performance targets.…” (Rena Eichler, Ruth Levine, and the Performance-Based Incentives Working Group, CGD, Washington 2009)

http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/1422178/

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MMI Key Issue: Access to health services
Increasing access to health services by poor people

   
Eldis Health Systems| ”Increasing the accessibility of health services to poor people requires overcoming the well known obstacles of travel time, convenient hours, and trust. These obstacles differ in importance for urban and rural poor people. Spatial obstacles to care are less important for urban poor people, but convenient hours matter more. In rural areas solutions to travel time bring tradeoffs between more clinics in more locations and better clinics in few places. There are no universal solutions, but there are universal ways of finding them.” (Health systems reporter, 26 June 2009)

http://www.eldis.org/go/topics/resource-guides/health-systems/health-systems-reporter

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MMI Key Issue: Networking, cooperation, alliances
African Christian Health Associations: Joining Forces for Improving Human Resources for Health

   
afro-nets | ”Recognizing that the human resources shortage must be addressed in order to strengthen sub-Saharan Africa's national health sectors, 14 Christian Health Associations in Africa organized a Technical Working Group on Human Resources for Health. The goal was twofold: to share experiences and build a knowledge base; and to give a voice through advocacy to the crucial role faith-based health networks play in national health sectors on the African continent.” (Report on activities and accomplishments of the ACHA Technical Working Group on Human Resources for Health, March 2008, PDF)

http://www.capacityproject.org/images/stories/files/african_christian_health_associations.pdf

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MMI Key Issue: Research Priorities and Partnerships
From Research to Improved Practice & Policy in International Health
Utrecht, The Netherlands, 14 October 2009


”Uniting Streams is a workgroup for field research in International Health, under the unbrella of the Netherlands Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (NVTG). This year's Uniting Streams symposium will focus on the importance of research in improving practice and policy in International Health."

http://www.unitingstreams.com/pages/page.asp?id=7 

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MMI Key Issue: Global Health
Globalization, Crisis and Health Systems: Confronting Regional Perspectives
Geneva, Switzerland, 19-21 April 2010


The Geneva Forum "Towards Global Access to Health" is jointly organized by the University Hospitals of Geneva and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, in partnership with major international organizations active in health in Geneva and around the world.  Abstract submission is now open. The MMI Network will be there - such as last time.

http://ghf10.org
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