Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, April 2010

MMI Network News, April 2010

Editorial: City facts

Dear reader,

It is not that spring makes me particularly tired, but others are just faster than me …sometimes… And sometimes figures are more powerful than arguments. In a feature related to World Health Day 2010, the WHO Bulletin just published some “city facts”. Here they are:

  • More than half the world’s population now live in cities.
  • By 2030, six out of every 10 people will be city dwellers, rising to seven out of every 10 people by 2050.
  • Between 1995 and 2005, the urban population of developing countries grew by an average of 1.2 million people per week, or around 165 000 people every day.
  • One in three urban dwellers lives in slums, or a total of 1 billion people worldwide.
  • Globally, road traffic injuries are the ninth leading cause of death, and most road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Almost half of those who die in road traffic crashes are pedestrians, cyclists or users of motorized two-wheelers.

Urban air pollution kills around 1.2 million people each year around the world, mainly due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. A major proportion of urban air pollution is caused by motor vehicles, although industrial pollution, electricity generation and in least developed countries household fuel combustion are also major contributors.

Tuberculosis (TB) incidence is much higher in big cities. In New York City, TB incidence is four times the national average. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 83% of people with TB live in cities.

Urban environments tend to discourage physical activity and promote unhealthy food consumption. Participation in physical activity is made difficult by a variety of urban factors including overcrowding, high-volume traffic, heavy use of motorized transportation, poor air quality and lack of safe public spaces and recreation/sports facilities.

Enjoy your World Health Day – in a healthy city?

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International Network

City facts taken from: WHO Bulletin, April 2010

World Health Day, 7 April 2010: 1000 Cities, 1000 Lives


MMI Network Events: What’s up

MMI Network Event: MM Switzerland
The future of the global AIDS response
Bern, 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.” (Annual conference of, the Swiss platform for HIV/AIDS and international cooperation organized by Medicus Mundi Switzerland. International guests are welcome)


MMI Network Event: Swiss Tropical Institute
Sex, Youth and Health
Basel, 16 April 2010

The annual Spring Symposium of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (formerly the Swiss Tropical Institute) will focus on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health. "We will explore strategies and interventions used to reach and involve young people in promoting their health, globally and in Europe, and address the question of the evidence base. Invited speakers and experts from international organisations, partner countries and the Swiss TPH will present and discuss the Sexual and Reproductive Health (S&RH) issues facing youth today around the world. To bridge the gap between the realities in a European context and those in resource limited countries of the South and the Middle East, similarities will be explored and context specific aspects will be addressed. As space is limited, interested participants will be selected according to their grounds for interest in the symposium. Therefore, please submit your registration by March 19 and take special attention in filling out the registration questions regarding your reasons for applying to the symposium." (The Swiss TPH is a member of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland.)


MMI Network Event 
World Health Assembly 2010
Geneva, 17-21 May 2010

The agenda of this year's World Health Assembly includes, among other items, the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005); the global strategy and plan of action regarding public health, innovation and intellectual property; the monitoring of the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals; and the draft global code of practice on international recruitment of health personnel. As an organization in official relations with WHO, the Medicus Mundi International Network is invited to appoint representatives to the Assembly and to make statements under items concerning technical issues.

As in the past years, we invite members of the MMI Network to benefit of this opportunity and to indicate to our secretariat until 25 April 2010 which  delegates of your organizations we shall include in our list of Network representatives.

The MMI Network will focus its joint activities on advocacy related to the WHO code of practice on international recruitment of health personnel. We also intend to organize, together with other civil society organizations, a side event on the implementation and monitoring of the code (a first announcement will follow as soon as possible). The Annual Assembly of the MMI Network will take place on Thursday, 20 May 2010, in Château de Bossey near Geneva.

WHA documentation:

Network news and resources added to the MMI electronic platform

MMI Network News: Cordaid
Religious leaders commit to visible and active leadership on HIV

Den Dolder, 23 March 2010 | “High level religious and spiritual leaders from many of the world’s major religions pledged “stronger, more visible and practical leadership in the response to HIV” as the first global High Level Summit of Religious Leaders on HIV concluded today in The Netherlands. The Summit was organized by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and Cordaid. Some 40 Baha'í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh leaders met together, 22-23 March, with the Executive Directors of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the AIDS Ambassadors of The Netherlands and Sweden, leaders and representatives of networks of people living with HIV and other organisations active in the response to HIV. Participants affirmed in their concluding statement to commit themselves to strengthened efforts to respond to HIV. The pledge includes “deepening meaningful engagement with people living with HIV” and “acting decisively to protect human rights within my faith community; through collaboration among other religious leaders of different faiths; and by influencing local, national, regional and global decision-making processes on HIV.“

Cordaid/e-alliance press release (PDF):
Summit declaration (PDF):

MMI Network News: Secretariat
Smile Train Italia intends to join the MMI Network

MMI Secretariat | After the Dutch Wemos Foundation, also the Italian not-for-profit organization Smile Train Italia Onlus intends to join the Medicus Mundi International Network as a new member. The chairman, Dr. Fabio Massimo Abenavoli, sent a request for membership to the MMI secretariat stating: "Smile Train Italia is committed to join forces towards achiveing shared aims, participating in Network activities and events and create a stable and professional social networking with MMI and its members in order to contribute to the development of the Network." The decision on Smile Train Italia’s admission will be taken by the next Assembly of Medicus Mundi International in May 2010.

Smile Train Italia website: 
Smile Train Italia on the MMI ePlatform:

MMI Network Campaign: Wemos
Dutch Human Resources for Health Alliance
Wemos | "Last year, on World Health Day, a number of Dutch organisations organised an event on the topic of the global Human Resources for Health (HRH) crisis. Discussions between the many different actors present at this day resulted in the initiative to establish an alliance for HRH to join forces across sectors and contribute in a Dutch manner to addressing the global HRH crisis. The alliance foresees that through cooperation and joint identification of opportunities and implementation of actions at (inter)national level the Dutch contribution to tackling the global HRH crisis will be reinforced." - An example to follow?

MMI Network Campaign: STOP MALARIA NOW
“Insight Malaria” Film Project and Contest

Köln, 6 April 2010 | "You are a young film maker and interested in development issues? You want to know how malaria affects people’s life in Africa and want to share this knowledge with others? You are between 18 and 25 years old? You are creative and motivated to work with an international film team? Then be part of our international “Insight Malaria” film production in Kenya and submit your application until 14 June 2010. Eight young film talents are chosen from Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland and will travel to Kenya for the film shooting in September 2010. They will jointly develop the screenplay of their film, and thereby learn more about the fatal effects of the global disease. Professional film producers from Germany will assist and support the group before, during and after the shooting."
The "Insight Malaria" film project and contest is a joint activity of the STOP MALARIA NOW campaign and mainly featured by action medeor (Germany), Medicus Mundi Spain, Medicus Mundi Italy and the Foundation of Humanitarian Aid (Medicus Mundi Poland).

Details and application forms:

MMI Network Report: Cuamm/ITM Antwerp
Contracting experiences in Sub Saharan Africa

The issue 4/2009 of the journal "Salute e Sviluppo" (Health and Development) published by Doctors with Africa Cuamm contains a paper by D. Boulenger, B. Keugoung and B. Criel (ITG Antwerp) on the MMI contracting study: Contracting experiences in Sub Saharan Africa. The case of Cameroon, Tanzania, Chad and Uganda. Main findings of a Medicus Mundi International Network study. "In this paper we present the principal findings of a study conducted on the arrangement of contractual relationships between faith-based (FB) district hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa and public health authorities."

Journal as PDF file (English version):

MMI Network News: Secretariat
The MMI Network goes web.2

In the last weeks and days, the secretariat of the Medicus Mundi International Network developed some web.2 gateways to profiles and contributions of the Network members. Have a look at them - and help us to keep them updated:

MMI updates

Since we started to use the real-time short messaging service "Twitter", we published there already some 300 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:  

  • Performance based financing: An opportunity for the private not-for profit sector? Interview with B Meesen in: Salute e Sviluppo (PDF) 
  • Empowering communities for maternal and newborn health. Bhutta/Lassi in: The Lancet
  • Keeping an eye on Equity: Community visions of equity in health. Loewenson et al., EQUINET. Download the book from
  • Are we reaching the poor and vulnerable? Findings from Kenyan health system related studies. Kandimaa/Moeller, GTZ (PDF)
  • WHO announces that independent experts will start to review how the H1N1 pandemic has been handled. J. Lynn, Reuters
  • Catholic development agencies and partners worldwide demand better cooperation with European Commission
  • Patents system has had its day. The IP framework is costing lives. There's a better way. P Soos in: Guardian
  • Climate change and its potential impact on health: a call for integrated action. Kumaresan/Sathiakumar in: WHO Bulletin
  • Funding a global health fund. Jeffrey D Sachs pleads for a broader mandate as well as for more money. In: Guardian
  • China's health reforms revisited. A themed issue of The Lancet
  • The true test of the effectiveness of health and development research is whether people use it. Eldis insights 78 edit.
  • Public health in an interdependent world: cash commodities, capacities, and conspiracies. Margaret Chan at World TB Day
  • Seven mistakes and potential solutions in epidemiology. Call for a World Council of Epid. & Causality. R Bhopal in: ete
  • Health & Climate Change. A topic page provided by the Global Health Council
  • Tackling wider social determinants of health and health inequalities. What do we already know? C Bambra et al. in: jech
  • Diarrhoea: why children are still dying and what can be done. T. Wardlaw et al. in: Lancet
  • Essential surgery at the district hospital in three African countries. Galukande et al. in: PLoS medicine
  • MSF discuss the problem of multidrugresistant TB on world TB day. PLoS Medicine
  • Drug-resistant tuberculosis now at record levels. WHO report
  • Healthy ageing and the future of public healthcare systems. EFMN special issue on healthcare (EU focus)
  • International mobility of health professionals to and from the Netherlands. Report for EU-FP7 MOHPROF-project
  • UN Secretary-General calls on leaders to attend Millennium Development Goals summit on 20-22 September 2010
  • Urgent call for papers on progress made towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (The Lancet)
  • A healthier, safer, and more prosperous world. Report of the (US) CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy
  • Wrong schools or wrong students? Medical education & regional imbalances of health workforce in Tanzania. Leon/Kolstad
  • Do health sector wide approaches achieve results? Evidence and lessons from six countries. D Vaillancourt, WB IEG (PDF)
  • The future of financing for WHO. Report of an informal consultation convened by the Director-General, January 2010
  • Scaling up in international health: what are the key issues? LJ Mangham/K Hanson in: Health Policy and Planning
  • Conducting operational research within a non governmental organization: the example of MSF. R. Zachariah et al. in: ihj
  • Pressure growing on wealthy nations for clear signal on long-term funds for HIV. Keith Alcorn, Aidsmap
  • International benchmarking of healthcare quality. A review of the literature. Ellen Nolte, RAND technical report
  • Thinking in time: does health policy need history as evidence? V. Berridge in: The Lancet
  • Facilitating access to pre-processed research evidence in public health. P. Robeson et al. in: BMC PubH (Canada focus)
  • Equal rights and opportunities for women are key for better health. WHO statements related to International Women's Day
  • The State of the Humanitarian System: assessing performance and progress. ALNAP 2010 (PDF) and
  • The Girl Effect: Jump-start International Women's Day.
  • Learning from the sin of Sodom. Evangelicals have become the new (US) internationalists. N.D. Kristof in: NYT
  • Health workforce strengthening and the role of global health initiatives: Lesons from Ethiopia. G. Ooms et al. in JPHP
  • Global health governance and the state: Premature claims of a post-international framework. James Ricci in: ghgj




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