Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, July 2011

MMI Network News, July 2011

Editorial on MDGs: as simple as possible, but not simpler

Dear reader,

You might share my mixed feelings about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). If not, just read again Claudio Schuftan's blog at Social Medicine: "We think MDGs suffer from donor over-influence, technical overemphasis, inattention to action on underlying social and economic inequalities, lack of systematic long-term financial commitments, and a predominant focus on health and education rather than on the entire political economy." (1)

Now the expiry date of the Millennium Development Goals is approaching. But what will replace the MDG hype in global development policy after 2015? After the UN MDG summit in September 2010 (2), the debate started to heat up in journals and blogs, and today it already looks as if the development of a "post-MDG framework" cannot be avoided. The good news: there is a rather broad consensus that any post-2015 framework must be guided by human rights principles and that it must have a stronger focus on tackling inequality.  "Any new set of goals must recognize the interdependence of all rights and go beyond the fragmented and overly-selective approach of the current MDGs. It must incorporate the broader range of critical human rights challenges which have emerged over the last decade, including the need to reinforce social protection and global financial regulation." (3) 

Recently, a new campaign called "Beyond 2015" (4) was set up in order to “create a civil society consensus around a minimum standard of legitimacy for a post-2015 framework." Using web 2.0 technology, the campaign has convened a global dialogue on a short list of "essential must-haves" – leadership, legitimacy, substance and accountability – that would need to be met both in terms of the process leading to a new development framework and the framework itself. And in the health sector, the "Joint Action and Learning Initiative" (5) starts to explore a post-MDG agreement that could be captured in something like a "Framework Convention on Global Health". 

“Beyond 2015” and the "Joint Action and Learning Initiative" are both absolutely relevant and timely, and I really encourage MMI Network members and partners to have a close look at these initiatives. It is high time to push now for a better development framework – if we admit that the World needs this kind of things – and to oppose any activist and opportunistic post-MDG architecture that does (again) not make sense. As Albert Einstein put it: Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International Network


  1. Are you MDGs-skeptic? I am. Claudio Schuftan on: The Social Medicine Portal, October 2010,
  2. - see also: UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2011: Major progress towards MDGs, but the most vulnerable are left behind.
  3. MDG failures prove need for a new rights-based development agenda. CEST paper, July 2011,
  5. Towards a global agreement on national and global responsibilities for health. LO Gostin et al. in: PLoS Medicine, May 2011,

MMI Network: News, Events and Resources

MMI Network meeting and workshop:
Mother and child health - before and past 2015
Brescia, 27-28 October 2011

The MMI Network meeting to be held in Brescia on the 27 October 2011 will be followed by a technical workshop on mother and child health on the 28 October 2011 in the wonderful setting of Santa Giulia, declared World Heritage by UNESCO just a few weeks ago. With only three years ahead to the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals, the time is particularly appropriate to discuss the future scenarios of the efforts concerning the health of all the mothers and children in the world. A first announcement of the Network meeting and workshop, including a call for contributions and registration information, is now available on the MMI ePlatform.

Call for contributions: We invite MMI Network members and their staff, members and partners to submit a one page proposal about a possible contribution (10 to 15 Minutes presentation) to the "market place" part of the workshop. The proposals must be supported by the Network member and will be screened and eventually confirmed by the organizers. MMI Network members (or their members or staff) who want to provide an input to this part of the workshop (see our call for inputs) and cannot fully cover their travel costs on their own, are invited to get in touch with the MMI secretariat. There is a limited amount of money available for travel subsidies.

> Event website:
> MMI ePlatform: thematic guide

Network topic: Human resources for health
Wemos selected to host the secretariat of the Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative

The MMI Network member Wemos was selected by the Global Health Workforce Alliance to host the secretariat of the Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative: Congratulations!

> MMI ePlatform: thematic guide

Network topic: Human resources for health
Health workers count. Call for urgent action for more health workers, better supported

20 July 2011. Over 250 organisations including  the Medicus Mundi International Network and some of its members have come together to call for urgent action for more health workers, better supported.  For the two months prior to the UN General Assembly meetings the organisations will be building pressure on global leaders to deal with the health worker shortfall and make new commitments for supporting health workers.


Network topic: Human resources for health
"I think our role is to raise the voices of churches in advocacy for
human resources, particularly in pharmaceutical human resources"

In an interview ("HRH FBO Leaders in Action") produced by the HRH Global Resource Center Donna Kusemererwa, the Executive Director of EPN, talks about the role of faith-based organizations in human resources for health and collaboration on human resources for health with the government and NGOs.


Network campaign: Cordaid
Cordaid HIV and AIDS Award 2011: linking of community
and formal health and care services for people living with HIV

Cordaid is seeking nominations from organisations actively involved in the linking of community and formal health and care services for people living with HIV. Cordaid wishes to award two organisations - one Civil Society Organisation and one Faith Based Organisation - showing leadership, commitment and vision in this field. Awards of €10,000 each will be presented to the award winning organisations. Deadline for submission is 1st of September 2011.


Network campaigns: Medicus Mundi Andalucía – action medeor
Smack the mosquito!

What is the most dangerous animal in the world? Is it a lion? Or a snake? No. It is the anopholes mosquito which kills almost one million people every year. Stop Malaria Now! member Medicus Mundi Andalucía (member of FAMME) has developed this online game so that you can learn more about the mosquito, the disease called malaria and how to prevent it. The game is in Spanish but it is easy for everyone to follow the steps and to guide an African family to the health center where they find relief from a malaria infection. Another mosquito online game, "Mosquilla", can be found on the action medeor website. Let’s play!

> Smack the mosquito:
> Mosquilla:

Network topic: Global health policy and governance
WHO reform: The consultation has started

The WHO reform process that started at the WHO Executive Board meeting in January 2011 and was discussed during the last 64th World Health Assembly is under way. The reform process was proposed by the Director General in response to the financial crisis of WHO. However, the reform touches upon many important aspects of the organization posing a great risk to the fulfilment of its constitutional mandate. The MMI Network is part of the "Democratising Global Health" coalition of NGOs that is closely watching the process and the content of the reform.


Network members:
Annual Reports 2010

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)
> Misereor: available in German (pdf)
> Wemos: available in English (pdf)

Event with MMI participation:
An Ideal Match?! Connecting NGOs and Academia in Research for Global Health
Amsterdam, 14 September 2011

The symposium co-organized by the MMI Network members Cordaid and Wemos together with various partners brings together health and action-oriented NGOs and academic institutions around international/global health research. The event is therefore a very interesting follow-up to the MMI Antwerp worshop in November 2010

> Event website:
> MMI ePlatform: thematic guide

Event with MMI participation:
World Conference on Social Determinants of Health
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 19-21 October 2011

"The Conference will bring WHO Member States and other actors together, by invitation, to build support for national policies to address social determinants of health to reduce health inequities. Specifically, the Conference aims both to strengthen political commitment by Member States and to share experiences and technical knowledge on how to address social determinants of health." (WHO). The Medicus Mundi International Network will probably be represented at the Conference by Cuamm and Wemos.

> Event website:
> MMI ePlatform: thematic guide


International Health Policy: MMI Updates

Since we started to use the real-time short messaging service "Twitter", we published there already more than 1000 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 as selection of “MMI Updates” published during the last month:

  • Healthcare Deserts: Severe healthcare deprivation among children in developing countries. Save the Children 2011
  • Mid-level health providers: a promising resource. Andrew Brown et al. in: rpmesp (pdf)
  • Bridging the divide. Wafaa M. El-Sadr et al. on HIV scale-up in low- and middle-income countries, in: JAIDS supplement
  • Should health professionals play the global health security card? Stefan Elbe in: The Lancet
  • From global health to publicly oriented local health…systems. JP Unger on: ITM International Health Policies blog
  • A human health perspective on climate change. Christopher J. Portier et all, US Interagency Working Group 2011 (pdf)
  • HIV/AIDS: themed issue of The Lancet
  • Involving legislators in evidence-informed policy processes: a neglected part of the governance agenda. N Jones, ODI, 2011
  • Governance in the health sector: A strategy for measuring determinants and performance. WD Savedoff, WB HDN 2011 (pdf)
  • An equal start why gender equality matters for child survival and maternal health. Save the children 2011 (pdf)
  • The role of the private sector in health care. Health Policy and Planning supplement
  • In a globalised world we need globalised regulation, Jonathan Glennie on: Guardian, Poverty Matters
  • Framing international trade and chronic disease. Ronald Labonte et al. in: Globalization and Health
  • Are there particular social determinants of health for the world's poorest countries? EB Eshetu and SA Woldesenbet in: AHS
  • From aid and humanitarianism to solidarity. Discourses on development and realities of exploitation. H Campbell in: Pambazuka
  • Strengthen WHO’s role in global health governance! Beijing Declaration of BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting, July 2011
  • Revitalising primary healthcare requires an equitable global economic system - now more than ever. Sanders et al. in: JECH
  • Primary health care and social determinants of health: essential and complementary approaches. Rasanathan et al., JECH
  • 1st EU Global Health Seminar, 27-29 June 2011: Background documents
  • Is the EU ready to operationalize its Global Health policy? "Key messages" by David Hercot & Kristof Decoster on: IHP
  • Securing a healthier future in a changing World. WHO DG Margaret Chan in: Global Health Magazine
  • Human resources for maternal, newborn and child health: from measurement and planning to performance. Gupta et al. in: HRH
  • UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS: assault on reproductive rights. Editorial in: The Lancet
  • Global Health Diplomacy. Video by the Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • The Global Social Crisis. Report on the World Social Situation 2011, UN DESA 2011
  • Development assistance for health: trends and prospects. Christopher JL Murray et al. in: The Lancet
  • Can we assume that people understand insurance principles? David M. Dror on micro health insurance, in: MMS Bulletin
  • A prioritized research agenda for prevention & control of noncommunicable diseases. S. Mendis / A Alwan eds., WHO 2011
  • Projections of global health outcomes from 2005 to 2060. Barry B Hughes et al. in: WHO Bulletin
  • OECD Health Data 2011
  • Medical tourism and policy implications for health systems: a conceptual framework. NS Pocock and K Phua in: Global Health
  • The Bangkok Declaration on free trade agreements and access to medicines, May 2011
  • How DAC Members work with Civil Society Organisations: An Overview. OECD DAC 2011 (pdf)
  • CSO development effectiveness: the "Istanbul principles"
  • How professional do we want (NGO) development work to be? Jonathan Glennie on: Guardian Poverty Matters blog
  • Staying the course? Malaria research and development in a time of economic uncertainty. PATH 2011 (pdf)
  • Ethics left behind in race for drug trials in the South. Paula Leighton on: SciDev.Net
  • Why African countries need to participate in global health security discourse. Lenias Hwenda et al. in: ghgj
  • Scaling up global health interventions: A proposed framework for success. Gavin Yamey in: PLoS Medicine
  • How can disease control programs contribute to health systems strengthening in SS Africa? Van Damme et al., ITM June 2011
  • Ten great public health achievements worldwide, 2001-2010. Ram Koppaka in: CDC MMWR
  • Counter austerity! Vote for bottom-up democracy in health. Celina on: iMAXi
  • Pathways to “evidence-informed” policy and practice: A framework for action. S Bowen and AB Zwi in: PLoS Medicine
  • Universal health coverage: friend or foe of health equity? Davidson R Gwatkin and Alex Ergo in: The Lancet
  • Global Health: What it has been so far, what it should be, and what it could become. G. Ooms et al., ITM Antwerp 2011
  • South Africa: Where did all the doctors go? Mari Hudson in: Health24
  • UN NCD High Level Meeting: Statement of concern on lack of clarity on role of industry
  • WHO, UN poised to allow corporations input in global public health decisions. Baby Milk Action on NCD summit
  • GAVI: Vaccine programmes come under the microscope. Sara Boseley in: Guardian
  • What principles should guide health system strengthening? Discussion at the Global Health Council Conference. AfGH blog
  • Delivering health, saving lives. State of World's Midwifery report. UNFPA 2011
  • NGOs and government partnership for health systems strengthening in Pakistan: Iram Ejaz et al. in: BMC Health Services
  • Health professional mobility and health systems: evidence from 17 European countries. M. Wismar et al. in: Euro Obs.
  • Strengthening the research to policy and practice interface: exploring SRHR/HIV/AIDS research strategies. HARPS Supp.
  • UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases: addressing four questions. Robert Beaglehole et al. in: The Lancet
  • A strategic revolution in HIV and global health. Editorial in: The Lancet
  • Plugging the health worker brain drain: What has worked so far? ks/he in: IRIS Africa news
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