Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, July 2010

MMI Network News, July 2010

Editorial: Everybody’s business

Dear reader,

A key element of the strategy 2011-2015 recently adopted by the Annual Assembly of the Medicus Mundi International Network says: “We will focus joint ventures on issues related to health systems strengthening. Contributing to health system strengthening will be the common denominator of joint enterprises and political statements of our Network.” 

I invite you to have a look at the WHO's framework for action for strengthening health systems and at a very inspiring collection of resources by the Antwerp Institute for Tropical Medicine and some of their partners. The WHO framework for action itself is an open invitation - for us and others, as its main title reads as follows: “Strengthening Health Systems to improve health outcome: Everybody’s business”.

So let me turn the floor over to WHO Director General Margaret Chan. She states: “The world has never possessed such a sophisticated arsenal of interventions and technologies for curing disease and prolonging life. Yet the gaps in health outcomes continue to widen. Much of the ill health, disease, premature death, and suffering we see on such a large scale is needless, as effective and affordable interventions are available for prevention and treatment. The reality is straightforward. The power of existing interventions is not matched by the power of health systems to deliver them to those in greatest need, in a comprehensive way, and on an adequate scale. As health systems are highly context-specific, there is no single set of best practices that can be put forward as a model for improved performance. But health systems that function well have certain shared characteristics. They have procurement and distribution systems that actually deliver interventions to those in need. They are staffed with sufficient health workers having the right skills and motivation. And they operate with financing systems that are sustainable, inclusive, and fair. The costs of health care should not force impoverished households even deeper into poverty. Therefore the strategic importance of Strengthening Health Systems is absolute.” (foreword to WHO framework for action)

Any questions? We will soon have the opportunity to discuss them…

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International Network


Health Systems Strengthening: Starting points


MMI Network: News, Events, Reports

MMI Network news
EPN and ACHAP will join the Medicus Mundi International Network

Basel, 5 July 2010. In the two last weeks, the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) and the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) submitted their applications for membership in the Medicus Mundi International Network to the MMI secretariat. The formal decision on the admission of EPN and ACHAP will be taken by an extraordinary Assembly (3rd November 2010) of the Network.

Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) is a worldwide network of associations, institutions, and individuals who have an interest or are involved in the delivery of just and compassionate quality pharmaceutical services. EPN's strategy seeks to strengthen the Church pharmaceutical sector and enhance interventions that improve people’s access to quality pharmaceutical services, informed by EPN’s experience of supporting church pharmaceutical systems for over two decades.

EPN website:
EPN profile: MMI ePlatform

Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) is a networking forum for Christian Health Associations and Networks from Sub-Saharan Africa. The forum has been established through the inspiration and support of World Council of Churches. The core functions of the forum are coordinated by a Secretariat Office hosted by the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) in Nairobi. The forum’s core mandate is to facilitate networking and communication among Christian Health Associations (CHAs) and to create a stronger voice in advocacy. Various Christian Health Associations in Africa have a form of Christian Health Association or a Faith Based Group.

ACHAP website:
ACHAP profile: MMI ePlatform

MMI Network news
Bernd Pastors: 25 years with action medeor

Tönisvorst, 30 June 2010. "To contribute to an international relief agency was always my dream", says Bernd Pastors. The dream has come true quite some time ago, as Bernd Pastors is celebrating his 25 years as a staff member of action medeor ...and a bit more: In 1997 Bernd Pastors became director of action medeor and the main responsible for the agency's programs. Since two years Bernd Pastors is also on the Board of the agency. (action medeor news release)

Congratulations, Dear Bernd, and all the best for your future work at action medeor - and as treasurer and dedicated board member of our Network!

MMI Network meeting
Kick-off event for the Network Strategy 2011-2015
Amsterdam, 2-3 November 2010

The MM Network meeting planned as a starting point for the implementation of our Network Strategy 2011-2015 will take place at the headquarters of Wemos, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Thanks to Wemos for the kind invitation! A first announcement of the Network meeting is published on the MMI ePlatform. Please mark the dates in your agenda. Details will follow in September.

MMI Network members
Annual Reports 2009 

Some members of the MMI Network recently published their annual reports on their websites:

AGEH: available in German (PDF)
Cordaid: available in Dutch (PDF)
Medicus Mundi Switzerland: available in German (PDF) and French (PDF).
Wemos: available in English (PDF) and Dutch (PDF)

MMI Network resource
Treasure memories. A toolkit for solution focused memory work

Memory work helps people living with the HI virus or whose relatives are HIV-positive or have AIDS to confront and cope effectively with their personal situation, the disease, and an uncertain future. In cooperation with terre des hommes switzerland, (the Swiss platform for HIV/AIDS and international cooperation coordinated by Medicus Mundi Switzerland) produced the new memory work toolkit “Treasure memories”. Available in English, French and Portuguese. 


International Health Policy: MMI Updates

Since we started to use the real-time short messaging service "Twitter", we published there already some 400 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:

  • David Woodward: How poor is 'poor'? Towards a rights-based poverty line. new economics foundation 2010
  • Capacity Project: Human Resources for Health Action Framework
  • How to (or Not to) Integrate Vertical Programmes for the Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kabatereine et al. in: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Understanding the correlations between wealth, poverty and HIV infection in African countries. JO Parkhurst in WHO Bull
  • Community-directed interventions for priority health problems in Africa: results of a multicountry study. WHO Bulletin
  • The 10 challenges of global health governance. I Kickbusch presentation at "Global Health: Together we can make it"
  • AIDS 2010. Lancet articles on HIV/AIDS, ahead of the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria (July 18—23)
  • G Molina, M Purser: Human Development Trends since 1970. A Social Convergence Story. UNDP Hum. Dev. Rep. Research Paper
  • Integrating modern and traditional medicine: Facts and figures. P Shetty on SciDev Net
  • Taking traditional medicines mainstream. Y Sharma on SciDev Net
  • The deadly synergy of HIV and tuberculosis. Editorial in: The Lancet Infectious Diseases
  • Closing the Gaps: From Science to Action in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health in Africa. Bennett/ Ssengooba, PLoS med
  • G8 debate: "Maternal health plan is something of a start" ( or: The G8 fails its own test" (
  • Social Protection in Africa: Where next? A discussion paper by S Devereux et al., IDS, ODI (and other agencies)
  • A health workforce for the world: "Take global health investment agenda to the next level." JC Chow in: Ottawa Citizen
  • Social determinants of diabetes and challenges of prevention. N Unwin et al in: The Lancet (free registration required)
  • An upside down view of governance. Aid and governance: time for a radical re-think? IDS 2010
  • We Can End Poverty. UN Millennium Development Goals Summit, New York, 20-22 September 2010
  • United Nations: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2010.
  • Review of the evidence on integration of targeted health interventions into health systems. Atun et al. in: heapol
  • Achieving sustainable health development in the African region. (Six) strategic directions for WHO, 2010-2015 (pdf)
  • Where Is the Future in Public Health? Research neclects interests of tomorrow’s populations. H Graham in: Milbank Qu
  • Time to Deliver: A PLoS Medicine series on maternal, newborn and child health in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Global health policy: chasing goals rather than solving problems? LP Fried LP Freedman in: global health magazine
  • A starting point for a new era in global health governance. D Gleicher reports from the EU global health conference
  • Drug research and development for neglected diseases: WHO heads back to the drawing board. Asher Mullard in: The Lancet
  • Health-system strengthening and tuberculosis control. Rifat Atun et al. in: The Lancet (free registration required)
  • Adelaide Statement on Health in All Policies - moving towards a shared governance for health and well-being
  • Human resource constraints remain a major impediment to medicine access in East Africa. P Waako et al. in: Contact
  • Global health and foreign policy: aid, trade, diplomacy and national security. H Feldbaum et al. in: epirev
  • Rationality vs. reality: the challenges of evidence-based decision making. McCaughey/Bruning in: implementationscience
  • Countdown to 2015 - Tracking Progress in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. Decade Report (2000-2010)
  • Conflicts of interest and pandemic flu: WHO's DG Margarat Chan responds to a BMJ article.
    BMJ article:
  • A Human Rights-Based Approach to Health. New info sheet. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and WHO (pdf)
  • David P. Fidler: The Challenges of Global Health Governance (CFR discussion paper, May 2010, pdf)
  • Peter Piot et al.: Ensuring Health for All. Towards a New Paradigm for Health for All (WEF discussion paper, pdf)
  • Gender equity is the key to maternal and child health. Editorial in: The Lancet
  • Gapminder World Map 2010 with health and income for all countries now free to download and print
  • Rational use of medicines. Updated WHO fact sheet
  • Health systems financing and the path to universal coverage. DB Evans, C Etienne in: WHO Bulletin
  • Priorities for research into human resources for health in low- and middle-income countries. MK Ranson et al. in: WHO bulletin
  • Can Foreign Policy Make a Difference to Health? Sigrun Møgedal, Benedikte Alveberg in: PLoS Medicine
  • Long overdue: WHA adopts a code of practice for international recruitment of health workers. Göran Bondjers on: GHE
  • No time to quit: HIV/AIDS treatment gap widening in Africa. MSF report, May 2010. Download from
  • Announcement: Second Global Forum on Human Resources for Health. Bangkok, 25-29 January 2011 (WHO, GHWA)
  • Isabelle Joumard et al.: Health care systems: efficiency and institutions (OECD ECO working paper, 2010, pdf)
  • International Health regulations: 2nd implementation course, September 2010 to February 2011 (WHO and partners)
  • Neonatal, postneonatal, childhood, and under-5 mortality for 187 countries, 1970-2010. Knoll Rajaratnam et al. in: TheLancet
  • Francis Omaswa, Jo Ivey Boufford: Strong Ministries for Strong Health Systems (Rockefeller Foundation 2010, pdf)
  • Erik Blas/Anand Sivasankara Kurup (Ed.): Equity, social determinants and public health programmes (WHO 2010, pdf)
  • Chasing goals rather than solving problems? Linda P Fried and Lynn P Freedman discuss MDGs in: Global Health Magazine
  • Stemming the brain drain of health-care workers from developing countries. A Hagopian et al. in: Seattle Times
  • Continuity and Change: Implementing the Third WHO Medicines Strategy 2008-2013. WHO, April 2010. Download from
  • Tuberculosis control and elimination 2010-50: Cure, care, and social development. Lönnroth et al. The Lancet, series on TB
  • People´s Health Movement: Global health governance reform initiative launched (Geneva workshop, 14-15 May 2010)
  • What do we really know about adult mortality worldwide? Koyanagi/Shibuya in: The Lancet



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