Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, February 2009

Editorial: Sharing reliable evidence

image: sevenroads.org
image: sevenroads.org

Dear reader,

Let me share with you, as a kind of “appetizer”, some first thoughts about the MMI Network and health research developed by an ad hoc working group. The document will be finalized by the group and submitted to the Executive Board which meets in The Hague, in March. 

“The lack of reliable evidence on the overall impact and the cost-effectiveness of major health programs and the need for more impact research has been one of main conclusion from the Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health in Bamako 2008.

The members of the MMI Network are also in dire need of evidence, generated through both up- and downstream research in all its form to accomplish their mission. However, most of MMI members and the development organizations in general have only limited capacities, to undertake such research themselves. A striking contrast to that is the wealth of untapped experience and knowledge within the network, but also in the wider international health arena.

Of course research results can be accessed via existing channels (scientific literature, websites,…). There is however no culture within MMI nor in most of its member organizations to actively search for such info. Nor have they the capacity or MMI at present the mandate to do so. A major obstacle is that research results are presented in a way that they are not easily digestible for non-researchers. There is also a lack of research which is specifically geared towards the need of non-governmental organizations.

It is therefore crucial for MMI to develop a clear research policy which gives a frame for future action.”


The MMI Network Newsletter is not that ambitious to provide you with “reliable evidence”, but it also likes to foster, within the MMI Network, a culture of sharing information, knowledge, evidence which is needed - and sometimes even provided - by the Network members. Have a look at the resources collected, get interested, get involved, and, why not, contribute to the next issue!

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International

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MMI Thematic Guide: Research priorities and partnerships

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You can subscribe to the monthly MMI Network News by sending a simple “subscribe” message to our Secretariat.

 

MMI Network Events

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MMI Network Event:
“Implementing our Plans”. MMI Executive Board Meeting
The Hague, The Netherlands, 6th March 2009


MMI | ”We are pleased to invite you to participate in the first MMI Board Meeting of this year hosted by Cordaid. MMI members wishing to participate in the meeting are most welcome. Please confirm your participation as soon as possible. The complete documentation related to the EB meeting will be distributed to the participants by e-mail around 23rd February 2009 and will then be available also in the EB documentation on the MMI ePlatform.” (Invitation letter)

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/intern/mmi-executive-board-documentation
  (registration required)

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MMI Network Event: Swiss Tropical Institute
Making Health Interventions Work: From validation to application
Basel, Switzerland, 17 April 2009


STI | ”This year we will focus on the development of health interventions and how we can make them work in reality. The symposium aims at providing a platform for the exchange of expertise and practical experience. The topics presented and discussed will include a wide range of aspects related to the path from validation to actual application of the interventions.” (13th Symposium of the Swiss Tropical Institute, organized by the STI Department for Pharmaceutical Medicine. The Swiss Tropical Institute is a member of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland)

> http://www.sti.ch/en/about-us/events.html

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MMI Network Event: Organisation
MMI side event at World Health Assembly 2009
Geneva, 20 May 2009


MMI | The Medicus Mundi International Network will probably participate in the 62nd World Health Assembly with a side event on Wednesday, 20th May 2009, on "Private not-for profit health institutions facing the human resources crises" - such as in 2008 when we organized a technical meeting on "Contracting experiences".

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/events/2008/world-health-assembly-2009

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MMI Network Event: Organisation
European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health
Verona, Italy, 6 to 10 September 2009

SSTMP | ”The Swiss Society of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, a member of the Medicus Mundi Switzerland Network, will contribute to the 6th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health with a round table on malaria elimination/eradication. "This topic is not only current and important, but it is also an area in which Switzerland is making important contributions (besides hosting WHO and RBM!).”

> SSTMP: http://www.sstmp.ch  
> Congress: http://www.festmih.org/verona2009

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Network events on the MMI ePlatform: www.medicusmundi.org/en/events.
Contribute: Announce your upcoming events on our ePlatform and in this newsletter!

 

Network News and Resources

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MMI Network Reports: Cordaid
Cordaid position paper on Human Resources in Health (HRH)

cordaidpartners | "This paper sums up Cordaid’s position on Human Resources for Health (HRH). After a short introduction of the problem and the context within which Cordaid provides support to organisations, we explain the programmatic approach and the strategies used, and a number of ‘promising practices’ are highlighted."

> http://www.cordaidpartners.com/rooms/human-resources-in-health-hrh
> http://www.cordaidpartners.com

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MMI Network News: Medicus Mundi Switzerland
Health System Strengthening: Role of conditional incentives?
Call for contributions to the Bulletin of Medicus Mundi Switzerland

MMS | Deadline: 24 February 2009 | "The Bulletin aims to have an in-depth look at current practice and knowledge on supply and demand side conditional incentive mechanisms to increase the quality, coverage and use of essential health services and priority home–based interventions as well as to explore experiences and speculating on the way forward. The contributions will complement articles resulting from a symposium organized by the Swiss Tropical Institute in November 2008 on the role of conditional cash transfers. We would appreciate, if we could get some more experiences from member organisations of the Medicus Mundi Network.”
> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/news
> Send your proposals to: Martin Leschhorn Strebel
> MMI Network News: http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/news

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MMI Network Partners: WHO
WHO Consultation on Financial and Economic Crisis and Global Health
Geneva, 19 January 2009


The Lancet, WHO, MMI | ”What can WHO do? The high-level consultation held in Geneva signalled great support from countries for WHO's strengthened role in advocacy, analysis, and monitoring. WHO can also accelerate its work to realise the vision of universal primary health care. It can use the financial crisis as an opportunity to review and restructure its resource allocations to better respond to global priorities in health. It can insist on stronger and more effective health representation in economically influential institutions, such as the World Trade Organization.” (Richard Horton, in: The Lancet,  Volume 373, Issue 9661, Pages 355 - 356, 31 January 2009 – free registration required)

> Conference documents on the MMI ePlatform:
http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/events

> Lancet article: http://www.thelancet.com

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Network news and resources on the MMI ePlatform: www.medicusmundi.org.
Contribute: Publish your news and resources on our ePlatform and in this newsletter!

MMI Key Issues and Network Topics

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MMI Key Issue: Health system integration
Challenging the myths about private health care in poor countries

afro-nets | ”The realization of the right to health for millions of people in poor countries depends upon a massive increase in health services to achieve universal and equitable access. The private sector can play a role in health care. But this paper shows there is an urgent need to reassess the arguments used in favor of scaling-up private-sector provision in poor countries. The evidence shows that prioritizing this approach is extremely unlikely to deliver health for poor people.” (Blind Optimism, Oxfam Briefing Paper, by Anna Marriott, February 2009)  - As usual, the private not-for-profit sector is neglected in this interesting paper. 

> http://www.oxfam.org/files/bp125-blind-optimism-0902.pdf

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MMI Key Issue: Global Health Policy
Evolution of Global health policies since the Alma Ata Conference:
A long way back towards Health for All

MMS Bulletin | "The history since the declaration of Alma Ata recounts about privatisation, fragmentation and confused global health governance. Because of the failure of different market approaches and the vertical programmes Primary Health Care is back again on the agenda of international health politics." (Eduardo Missoni, in: Bulletin of Medicus Mundi Switzerland No. 111, February 2009)

> http://www.medicusmundi.ch
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MMI Key Issue: Global Health Policy
Health is global. UK Government Strategy for 2008-2013 

MMS Newsletter | "Health is global is the first cross-government strategy to highlight the breath of challenges that face us in the area of global health. The strategy outlines a set of principles and actions that the UK Government will focus on over the next five years to improve the health of people across the world, including the UK. The strategy highlights the importance of coherence and consistency in government policy and identifies ways to work even more effectively with our partners to deliver better health outcomes." (UK Government) - A benchmark for other countries!

> http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/International/DH_072715
> http://www.dh.gov.uk

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MMI Key Issue: Human Resources for Health
WHO: Draft code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel

WHO | The draft of a code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel was discussed at the 124th WHO EB meeting of January 2009. In her report to the EB WHO DG Margaret Chan pointed out: “I can tell you: this is not an easy problem to address. Patterns of health worker migration have become more complex and more countries are now involved. Addressing the problem means balancing the interests of health personnel, source countries, and destination countries. The draft code of practice contains a number of proposals. I look forward to hearing your views.”

> http://www.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/EB124/B124_13-en.pdf

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MMI Key Issue: Community health
Participatory approaches in health systems

Eldis | “At a national and more fundamental level a key challenge is that, although governments have developed policies for dealing with community participation in local health care, there is often little implementation of these policies. Both national and international efforts to implement public health strategies can disregard local input, and the delivery of ‘decentralised’ health care is often at odds with the local communities they are serving.” (Eldis health systems reporter, 29 January 2009)
> http://www.eldis.org

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MMI Key Issue: Health Research
Global-health research architecture—time for mergers?

The Lancet | ”The recent Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health in Bamako, Mali, called for better alignment and harmonisation of research funding to countries in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.  To act on the Paris principles requires joined-up action not only in recipient countries but also among actors internationally. This latter imperative indicates a need to carefully re-examine the global-health research architecture.” (J-A. Røttingen et al. in: The Lancet, Volume 373, Issue 9659, Pages 193 - 195, 17 January 2009 - free registration required)
 
> http://www.thelancet.com

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MMI Key Issue: Health Research
Fostering innovation for global health
Global Forum Update on Research for Health

globalforumhealth.org | ”Innovation is a process encompassing the generation of new ideas, their transformation into something useful and their implementation. Drawing new ideas and discoveries from research, innovation may cross many sectors and disciplines involved in the development and application of a novel product or process. For global health, both social and technological innovation are absolutely essential to maximize finite resources, which are always finite. Furthermore, innovation is a vital driver of development. The fifth volume of the Global Forum Update on Research for Health provides insights into the newest thinking on innovation for global health. Some 30 leading institutions and professionals from around the world reflect on how policy, social, technological and corporate innovations can be fostered for global health.” (Available online as a PDF file)

> http://www.globalforumhealth.org

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MMI Key Issue: Access to Health
The Global Politics of Pharmaceutical Monopoly Power

MSF, HAI | ”We face two major challenges – the high cost of existing medicines on the one hand, and the absence of appropriate or effective treatments for many of the diseases affecting our patients on the other. This new book by Ellen ‘t Hoen, former Director of Policy Advocacy for the MSF Access Campaign, explains why these twin challenges are in fact two sides of the same coin. More importantly perhaps, it also analyses  the latest mechanisms and policy changes that may help change the broken system of medical innovation and access to medicines today.” (Ellen ’t Hoen, The Global Politics of Pharmaceutical Monopoly Power. Drug patents, access, innovation and the application of the WTO Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, AMB 2009, free download)

> http://www.msfaccess.org

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Key issues on the MMI ePlatform: http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/topics
Contribute: Let us know about interesting resources and news to be published in this newsletter!

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