Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, January 2010

MMI Network News, January 2010

Editorial: No time out

Dear reader,

I took a time out from Christmas until 4 January, but the world clock kept ticking: So, before I started editing the first 2010 MMI Network News, I set it back to zero – and now, after two and a half hours, watch the result! 

…quite a shocking meditation in the beginning of a new year. At least for a bureaucrat like me, sitting in my nice office in nice Basel, nice Switzerland. But those of you who know some of the faces behind and between these figures do not need to watch the world clock ticking in order to know what’s up – and what’s to do.

“Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All”. This is the slogan of the Medicus Mundi International Network. Our Network’s members fight global poverty by promoting access to health and health care as a fundamental human right. And the Network itself aims at enhancing the quality and effectiveness of the work of its members and their partners through a set of specific contributions such as undertaking advocacy and sensitization activities at an international level; enhancing communication and the exchange of knowledge and know-how between members; enhancing cooperation, coordination of activities and the development of joint activities; and fostering the development of common policies and practices. 

The world clock keeps ticking. I will not stop it, but I will not just sit and watch it tick by. 

I wish you a good and fruitful new year. 

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International Network

MMI Network: News, Events, Reports, Resources

MMI Network project
Contracting between the public and the faith-based
sector in Uganda: Kampala workshop and declaration

Kampala, December 2009 | In May 2009, the Medicus Mundi International Network launched the report "Contracting between faith-based and public health sector in Sub-Saharan Africa: An ongoing crisis?". In a national workshop stakeholders from the public and private (faith-based) health sector discussed the report and, more generally, the challenges of integrating the private not for profit sector in the national health system of Uganda. The workshop concluded with the adoption of a "Kampala Declaration on the partnership between the Public and Private Not For Profit subsectors in the Ugandan Health System".

MMI Network campaign
International recruitment of health personnel:
Progress towards a stronger WHO code of practice

Basel, December 2009 | Health worker migration has been increasing worldwide over the past decades, especially from lower income countries whose health systems are already very fragile. To address this situation, the World Health Assembly adopted resolutions which called for the development of a Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. In January 2009, the WHO Executive Board discussed a first draft of a Code of Practice, but requested further consultation among Member States, including through discussion by regional committees. Now, a new draft - and a related report by the WHO secretariat - is available on the WHO website. The issue is put on the agenda of the next WHO Executive Board meeting in January 2010: The Board is "invited to consider the revised draft code of practice with a view to its submission to the Sixty-third World Health Assembly", in May 2010.

The modifications in the text of the Code are in line with the proposed amendments and suggestions the representative of the Medicus Mundi International Network made in her statement to the Regional Committee of Europe in September. So we are rather happy with the revised draft. As an NGO in official relations with the WHO, the Medicus Mundi International Network is invited to the Executive Board meeting and has already appointed a representative. NGOs in official relations are also permitted to request the WHO EB Chairman to submit a statement related to a technical issue. MMI intends to make a statement regarding the international recruitment of health personnel and the draft global code of practice, following up our previous suggestions. In order to prepare this statement, we invite MMI Network members and others who are interested in this issue to have a close look at the revised draft and to let us know their opinion.

MMI Network campaign: Cordaid
This Church is HIV/AIDS Friendly

“The submissions for the 2008 Cordaid AIDS award for faith based leadership contain a richness of practice based information on the many aspects of the fight gainst aids. With the publication of this booklet, Cordaid would like to share this richness as broadly as possible.”

2008 Report "This Church is HIV/AIDS Friendly"
Download as PDF:
2009 Cordaid HIV and AIDS award:

MMI Network event: Medicus Mundi Switzerland
The future of the global AIDS response – implications for NGOs
Bern, Switzerland, 14 April 2010

“The global economic crisis that has induced cutbacks in the spending of Government and international donors also threatens efforts for an effective response to HIV and AIDS. In addition, a ‘backlash’ against disease-specific initiatives can be observed in the international arena. On the other hand, HIV and AIDS with a present high of 33.4 million people living with HIV remains a serious global problem, reaching out beyond the health sector – and a united concerted effort is needed more than ever.

What are the implications of these changes and debates on macro level for Swiss NGOs working in the field of HIV, AIDS and international cooperation? What are the implications for prevention, for treatment programmes and/or on programmes for psychosocial support? How can the demand for universal access to comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support by 2015 still be met?” Annual conference of, the Swiss platform for HIV/AIDS and international cooperation organized by Medicus Mundi Switzerland.

MMI Network resource: MMI ePlatform
Human Resources for Health

MMI ePlatform | “The MMI activities in the field of Human resources for health (HRH) are based on the field experience of ourselves and our partners, small and medium-size institutions in the field of private not-for-profit health care provision. Our activities will focus on their problems and needs and on a district level, where most of our partners work, and on the other hand integrate reflection of our own position of being a network of big European organisations.”


MMI Key Issues: Resources, Reports, Campaigns

MMI Key Issue: Human Resources for Health
WHO are health managers? - Case studies from three African countries

 “Health managers are considered essential at both the strategic and operational levels of health systems. To gain an initial understanding of the management workforce for service delivery, a rapid descriptive assessment was undertaken in three African countries, namely Ethiopia, Ghana and the United Republic of Tanzania. The study looked at who the managers are and what their backgrounds are as well as whether they have effective support systems in an enabling organizational environment. The information from the study suggests a major lack of appreciation of this component of the health workforce and the catalytic role it can play in scaling up service delivery. This publication summarizes the findings of the study.” (WHO, Human Resources for Health Observer - Issue No. 1, October 2009, download: PDF)

MMI Key Issue: Get evidence into NGO practice
SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health policymaking (STP)

 “Knowing how to find and use research evidence can help policymakers and those who support them to do their jobs better and more efficiently. Each article in this series presents a proposed tool that can be used by those involved in finding and using research evidence to support evidence-informed health policymaking. The series addresses four broad areas: 1. Supporting evidence-informed policymaking 2. Identifying needs for research evidence in relation to three steps in policymaking processes, namely problem clarification, options framing, and implementation planning 3. Finding and assessing both systematic reviews and other types of evidence to inform these steps, and 4. Going from research evidence to decisions.” (supplement to Health Research Policy and Systems, Volume 7, open access)

International Health Policy
MMI Updates on Twitter

MMI Secretariat | Since we started to use the real-time short messaging service "Twitter", we published there already some 180 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: 

  • WHO DG Margaret Chan: 2009 in review. Key health issues, successes and challenges. WHO podcast and transcription
  • Malnutrition, inadequate funds for HIV/AIDS, neglected diseases among top 10 humanitarian crises of 2009. A MSF report
  • Global health risks: Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. A WHO report (PDF)
  • Towards building equitable health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: case studies on operational research. S. Theobald et al. in: HARPS
  • Drug development for neglected diseases: pharma's influence. A Lancet editorial ("latest attempt to sabotage the IGWG")
  • Climate change: a time of need and opportunity for the health sector. AJ McMichael et al. in: The Lancet
  • Equal health revisited. Better integrate inequity definitions with distributive justice theories. Norheim/Asada in: IJEqH
  • The international drug procurement agency UNITAID plans to launch a patent pool for HIV/AIDS drugs by mid-2010
  • WHO World Malaria Report 2009: "Increased funds lead to dramatic scale-up and measurable reductions in malaria burden"
  • Medicines: corruption and pharmaceuticals. A WHO fact sheet, December 2009
  • Educating leaders in hospital management: a new model in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sosena Kebede et al. in: intqhc, Dec. 2009
  • Partnerships with the Private Sector in Health. How to expand access to key services to underserved populations. CGDev
  • Universal coverage, beyond the numbers. Access for all to quality health services. Seminar organized by be-cause health
  • Universal health coverage: access to what? Lancet editorial on health system strengthening and health service solutions
  • Adding It Up: Costs and benefits of investing in family planning and maternal and newborn health. UNFPA report (PDF)
  • Reversing the AIDS Epidemic through Third-Generation Health Systems. MSH call for a "dramatic change in thinking" (PDF)
  • WHO 10 facts on climate change and health
  • UNAIDS launches strategic framework for stronger partnerships with Faith-Based Organizations in its response to HIV
  • Protecting health from climate change: Global research priorities. WHO report, December 2009
  • Basics on Wikipedia: What is... "The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness"?
  • Basics on Wikipedia: What is... "The Alma Ata Declaration"?
  • Slums, climate change and human health in sub-Saharan Africa. B. Ramin in: WHO Bulletin
  • Aid to better health – what are we learning about what works and what we still have to do. OECD DAC report (PDF)
  • Training health workers in Africa: Documenting FBO's contributions. E. Pearl et al., Capacity Project technical brief
  • Making gender a global health priority. By J. Fleischmann, CSIS Global Health (US policy focus), November 2009 (PDF)
  • Philanthrocapitalists are reshaping the world of charity. Govt led model a quirky relic of the past? Bishop/Green in: FP
  • How can we support the use of systematic reviews in policymaking? J.N. Lavis in: PloS medicine
  • Social movements are key towards universal health coverage. De Ceukelaire/De Vos in: The Lancet
  • Where did all the aid go? In-depth analysis of increased health aid flows over past 10 years. Piva/Dodd in: WHO Bulletin
  • Integrated Knowledge Translation: Researcher and knowledge-user collaboration in health research. CIHR online tutorial

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