Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, October 2009

MMI Network News, October 2009

Editorial: Do you bother about health research?

Get evidence into NGO policy and practice!
Get NGO practice into research!

Dear reader,

Do non-governmental organisations have to care about health research? - Certainly we do. To accomplish our mission in the field of international health cooperation in a more rational and sustainable way, the NGOs which are members and partners of the Medicus Mundi International Network are in need of reliable evidence on “what works and what does not”. Many NGOs struggle with assessing the impact or effectiveness of their programs and strategies. 

Undertaking advocacy and sensitization activities at an international level also needs to be rooted in evidence. Public health issues such as the health workforce crisis or the integration of private not-for-profit institutions into the national health system cannot be tackled without a clear understanding of what they are all about.

If you agree that NGOs have to care about reliable evidence and research, the challenge can be expressed in two simple slogans: “Get evidence into NGO policy and practice!” and: “Get NGO practice into research!” Both challenges are addressed in a research policy document adopted by the MMI Network’s Executive Board last month and describing our Network’s approach to generating, accessing, sharing and using reliable evidence.

Otherwise, this issue of the MMI Network Newsletter is more about global health policy than about “reliable evidence”, but it still likes to foster, within our Network, a culture of sharing knowhow and joining forces. So have a look at the resources and statements collected, get interested, get involved, and eventually contribute to the next issue!

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International Network


Focus: Research priorities and partnerships

MMI Research Policy

“This policy document of the Medicus Mundi International Network is rooted in the overall MMI Network Policy and describes the Network’s approach to generating, accessing, sharing and using reliable evidence. The document reflects an analysis undertaken by the Executive Board of MMI and results in a set of specific mandates for the Network.”

Download PDF:

Research Priorities and Partnerships
A thematic guide

“Do research partnerships contribute to make real change at institutional, organisational and services level, and if not, why not? - Our thematic guide to internet resources on research priorities and partnerships leads you beyond the limits of the Medicus Mundi International Network.”

Global Forum for Health Research
Innovating for the health of all
Havana, 16-20 November 2009

“Forum 2009 will focus on innovations in how systems of research for health are organized, managed, financed and applied. It will highlight innovations that are already, or could be, contributing to strengthening systems of research for health and health equity; examine the results of research and innovation in key areas including, for example, equitable finance mechanisms in health systems; explore pivotal factors that are important in improving the organization of research and innovation systems to achieve more equitable health outcomes."



Medicus Mundi International: Network Events and News

MMI Network: Advocacy 
International recruitment of health personnel
MMI statement to WHO Europe

Copenhagen, 16 September 2009 | Addressing the participants at the 59th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, and referring to the draft "WHO code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel", a representative of the Medicus Mundi International Network welcomed the joint effort by WHO Member States, WHO and civil society to address and regulate international migration of health workers. It the Network’s statement, MMI advocates for of a strong Global Code of Practice that can guide towards reduced international recruitment and eventually generate a globally balanced health workforce.

MMI statement (PDF):

MMI news release:

WHO: Managing health workforce migration - towards a global code of practice

MMI Network news: Doctors with Africa Cuamm
Cuamm at 6th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health

Padova, September 2009 | Doctors with Africa Cuamm participated in the 6th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health with a symposium on international health cooperation and a series of posters which can be downloaded from the Cuamm website: 

MMI Network event: ITM Antwerp
Universal coverage, beyond the numbers
Access for all to quality health services

Brussels, 26 November 2009

ITM | A seminar organized by be-cause health, the Belgian platform for international health co-ordinated by the Institute for Tropical Medicine Antwerp.


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

MMI Key Issue: Global Health Policy
“World Health Summit”, Berlin, 14-18 October 2009

The first self-proclaimed “World Health Summit” is as ambitious as its name: “…the world’s foremost meeting of researchers, physicians, politicians and stake holders within the healthcare system. It takes place every year.” – We shall see…

Nevertheless, the People's Health Movement (PHM) has a number of concerns about this event: “PHM believes that, rather than creating a parallel policy forum, efforts and resources should be spent strengthening the World Health Organization (WHO) as the international coordinating body for issues related to people's health. WHO is one of the United Nation organizations in which each country has a voice. The WHA thus provides a reasonably democratic decision making process, despite mechanisms used by powerful member states to direct the decisions. We are concerned that the declaration of the World Health Summit is likely to preferentially represent the interests of the Global North, corporations and those who financially sponsor the Summit.”

Event website

“Industry-dominated, and not representative.” A statement by the Peoples Health Movement.

MMI Key Issue: Global Health Policy
Geneva Health Forum, 19-21 April 2010

Call for abstracts: Deadline approaching

…and another candidate for the "most ambitious event" award: “A joint initiative launched by the Geneva University Hospitals and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva in partnership with the main international organizations active in health in Geneva and around the world, the Geneva Health Forum and the Global Access to Health Platform bring together the major stakeholders in global access to health – from field workers to policy-makers.” The theme of the 2010 edition of the Geneva Health Forum is “Globalization, Crisis, and Health Systems: Confronting Regional Perspectives”. The organizers just informed us that the final date for abstract submission is now set at 30 October 2009.

MMI Key Issue: Health workforce migration
Human Development Report 2009
Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development

UNDP |  "Migration not infrequently gets a bad press. Negative stereotypes portraying migrants as ‘stealing our jobs’ or ‘scrounging off the taxpayer’ abound in sections of the media and public opinion, especially in times of recession. For others, the word ‘migrant’ may evoke images of people at their most vulnerable. This year’s Human Development Report, Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development, challenges such stereotypes. It seeks to broaden and rebalance perceptions of migration to reflect a more complex and highly variable reality.” (UNDP, 5 October 2009) – A challenging report also for us who try to address the negative impact of health workforce migration.

MMI Key Issues
International Health Policy Updates on “Twitter”

MMI Secretariat | Since we started to use the real-time short messaging service "Twitter", we published there already more than 80 “tweets”: small bits and pieces of news on international health policy. Each update is 140 characters or less - these are the rules of the game. Just enough for a headline, eventually an author, a date, the source – and a shortened link to the website where you find the full information. Have a look at some of our tweets published during the last month: 

  • "Make It Happen". MSF Access Campaign pushes for getting HIV drugs in a patent pool
  • George A. Kaplan: The Poor Pay More – Poverty’s High Cost to Health (USA). September 2009 (PDF)
  • Access to HIV/AIDS treatment still falling far short of need; sustainability concerns. WHO report, Sept 2009
  • Climate change and social determinants of health: two interlinked agendas. L.A.C. Galvão et al. in: Global H.Prom. (PDF)   
  • Sarah Payne: How can gender equity be addressed through health systems? WHO Europe policy brief 2009 (PDF) 
  • Ellen ’t Hoen: The global politics of pharmaceutical monopoly power. MSF access campaign 2009.
  • The global financial crisis and developing countries: taking stock, taking action. ODI briefing paper, September 2009 (PDF)
  • Richard Horton: What will it take to stop maternal deaths? The Lancet, early online publication, September 2009
  • EU's role in Global Health: Process leading to adoption of a related EU Communication
  • Vujicic et al: Working in Health. Financing and managing the public health workforce (World Bank, April 2009)
  • PAHO call for nominations: "Effective initiatives solving a public health problem". Deadline 30 Oct 2009
  • Stop public health conferences becoming trade fairs. Bodini et al. in: Public health nutrition, Sept. 2009
  • Chronic diseases: A new challenge for global health. Swiss Health Cooperation Symposium, Basel, 10 November 2009
  • Research on equity and health: Implications for global and national priority setting. WHO discussion paper, September 2009 (PDF)
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health and Development: Invest in Health, Rights and the Future. Call to Action, September 2009
  • The global financial crisis: Poverty and social protection. ODI briefing paper, August 2009 (PDF)
  • Learning lessons on implementing performance based financing - a multi-country evaluation (KIT/Cordaid/WHO 2009)
  • Too poor to pay: Over sixty organizations call on world leaders to make free healthcare a reality for millions
  • WHO: First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, Montreux, Switzerland, 16-19 November 2010. (PDF)
  • Culture Matters. Lessons from a legacy of engaging faith-based organizations. UNFPA Report, 2008 (as PDF)  
  • 3rd report of the Italian Health Watch (2009): Global Health and Development Assistance. Rights, Ideologies and Deceit

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