Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, June 2012

MMI Network News, June 2012

Editorial: "Universal coverage is the ultimate expression of fairness"

Dear reader,

“Health systems financing: the path to universal coverage“ was the topic of the World Health Report 2010 (1). In 2012, universal health coverage (UHC, 2) has become a buzzword. After the Bangkok UHC conference in January (3),  UHC enthusiast David Hercot stated: “Universal Health Coverage is in, Health Systems Strengthening is out” (4). And with her speech at the World Health Assembly in May, WHO Director General Margaret Chan took herself the lead in the “UHC movement”:

"In my view, universal coverage is the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer. It is our ticket to greater efficiency and better quality. It is our saviour from the crushing weight of chronic noncommunicable diseases that now engulf the globe. Universal coverage is the umbrella concept that demands solutions to the biggest problems facing health systems. That is: rising health care costs yet poor access to essential medicines, especially affordable generic products; an emphasis on cure that leaves prevention by the wayside; costly private care for the privileged few, but second-rate care for everybody else; grossly inadequate numbers of staff, or the wrong mix of staff; weak or inappropriate information systems; weak regulatory control, and schemes for financing care that punish the poor. Universal coverage is the hallmark of a government’s commitment, its duty, to take care of its citizens, all of its citizens. Universal coverage is the ultimate expression of fairness." (5)

This is not only enthusiasm, but also strategic speaking: In order to save health as a key development issue after the “decade of global health” (2000-2010) it makes sense that the World Health Organization goes for incorporating health as “universal health coverage” into the post-MDG framework (6). In the draft Twelfth General Programme of Work of the WHO, UHC is already at the top, used to describe the expected overall impact of WHO’s work in the years 2014-2019. (7)

There is nothing wrong with this. The members of the Medicus Mundi International Network share the vision of access to health and health care as a fundamental human right (“Health for All”). We know that keep health care sustainable and affordable is a huge challenge, and we are convinced that a key strategy is to strengthen the health system as a whole. “Universal Health Coverage” is the way our vision and strategy are promoted these days, so let us be happy that things keep moving, and let us be part of a civil society movement towards UHC (8).

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International Network


  2.  See our new thematic guide: 
  8. See below, network campaign



MMI Network news: Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

Network: Medicus Mundi International
Civil Society call for action on universal health coverage

A group of NGOs lead by Action for Global Health and including the MMI Network has been working on a common statement for UHC, asking for greater political support and promoting a joint movement for UHC. The call is available in Spanish, French and English. If your organisation wants to strengthen this global movement for UHC and endorse the call, please contact the campaign organizers at 

Network: Medicus Mundi International
Global campaign for a Framework Convention on Global Health

At a conference at the Bellagio Center, in February 2012, a group of dedicated individuals and organizations decided to launch a global campaign for a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) and therefore drafted the manifesto "Health for All: Justice for All". The manifesto highlights the present historic opportunity for advancing the right to health and resolving today's immense health inequities. It lays out key principles that an FCGH should incorporate, calls for these principles to be incorporated into the post-MDG framework, and emphasizes that the path towards an FCGH begins with communities, civil society, and all those committed to health and dignity for all. The executive secretary of the Medicus Mundi International Network participated in the Ballagio conference, contributed to the drafting of the manifesto and endorsed it afterwards on behalf of MMI. Network members and partners are invited to have a look at the manifesto, sign it individually, and get involved in the campaign for a Framework Convention on Global Health.


Event: MMI Network with members and partners
The role of NGOs in national health systems and global health policy
Workshop at the People's Health Assembly, Cape Town, 7-8 July 2012

The workshop organized by a group of NGOs and NGO networks provides a space for critical reflections on the role and the future of NGOs, linking the discussion on the integration of NGOs in national health systems with debates on the role of NGOs in global health governance and in civil society: What does it need to make NGOs part of the solution and not the problem? First module „The role of NGOs in national health systems and global health policy” on 7th July; second module “NGOs - the good, the bad and the evil?” on 8th July.


Network news: ACHAP
ACHAP attains status of an international faith based NGO with mandate in Africa

The Africa Christian Health Associations’ Platform (ACHAP) has yet again achieved another organizational development milestone by attaining the status of an international faith based NGO with mandate in Africa, following the issuance of a Certificate of Registration by the Government of Kenya on 4th May 2012.  ACHAP has been issued registration under the NGOs Coordination Act of 1990. This marks a significant milestone in the organizational development of ACHAP, which had since its inception operated under the legal umbrella of the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK).


Network news
Welcome to HealthNet TPO

The Annual General Assembly of the Medicus Mundi International Network in Geneva, on 25 May 2012, admitted HealthNet TPO as a new Network member. Welcome! Meeting participants were mainly impressed by the profile of HealthNet TPO as a knowledge-driven organization: "This means our activities are based on scientific research and we continuously monitor their efficiency. We also develop new methods to improve the health of people in distress, which are regularly adopted by colleague organizations."

HealthNet TPO:
MMI Assembly: 

Network resource:
HealthNet TPO and research

Research is necessary to create a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms that cause the needs and (health) problems of individuals and communities living in fragile states and low income countries. Research in this context needs to be participative and action and solution oriented to produce the options for action and the evidence for specific interventions. The production of evidence is only the first step towards the application and implementation of sound health policies. Research within HealthNet TPO is also used to develop procedures to translate knowledge in activities that change health policies. Learn more about HealthNet TPO's methodologies and themes in research activities, the organization's research publications and current research projects:


Network news: MMI
medico international will join the Medicus Mundi International Network

The German NGO medico international submitted an application for membership in the Medicus Mundi International Network to the MMI secretariat. medico international, based in Frankfurt am Main, is supporting partners all around the world financially and through networks of solidarity: "We are working with a human rights based approach to achieve the right to health for all. Alongside with emergency relief work and the support of local initiatives, public relations such as campaigning, advocacy and networking on topics like global health, Israel/Palestine or the ill effects of land grabbing play an important role in our daily work." The formal decision on the admission of medico international will be taken by the extraordinary Assembly on the MMI Network in Amsterdam, on 10 October 2012.

medico international:
Amsterdam Network meeting:              


Network resource: i+solutions
ATM access: pharmaceutical market updates on essential medicines

ATM access is an online platform supported by i+solutions that provides access to pharmaceutical market information on HIV/Aids, TB and Malaria and relevant health topics.

"We are very happy to share with you a new project initiated by i+solutions. ATM access is an online platform that provides access to pharmaceutical market information on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and relevant health topics with a focus on low- and middle income countries. Stay up-to-date, connect with the online community, share experience and enhance your market intelligence’s knowledge."


Network project: Doctors with Africa Cuamm
Global Health: Ideas on education and public awareness

“The boost given by the first edition of the European project 'Equal opportunities for health', set in motion a participatory process involving universities, lecturers, students and organizations sensitive to the subject of Global Health and determined to spread its teaching. This gave rise to the establishment, in 2009, of RIISG, a network devoted to training students and professionals. The desire to build a larger network beyond the national borders laid the foundations for a second, currently ongoing European project (2011-2014). We now collaborate with universities and organizations from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Hungary and Malta." (Cuamm 2012)


Network conference report
WHO reform: Democratic pathways for a sustainable leadership
in global health. Geneva, 23 May 2012

The WHA side event hosted by the Medicus Mundi International Network for the Democratising Global Health Coalition on the WHO Reform (DGH) provided the venue for an open and public dialogue on issues that civil society organizations consider critical for building a healthy future for the WHO. The panel also presented some ways forward to be considered by member states to ensure WHO's policy leadership on health, its ultimate responsibility.


MMI Network and members
Annual Reports 2011

Medicus Mundi International, Cordaid, EPN, Medicus Mundi Switzerland, Memisa and Smile Train Italy recently published annual reports on their websites. The collection on the MMI ePlatform will be completed in the next months.

Medicus Mundi International: available in English
Cordaid: available in Dutch
EPN: available in English
Medicus Mundi Switzerland: available in German and French
Memisa: available in French and Dutch
Smile Train Italy: available in English
Annual reports on the MMI ePlatform: collection

Global Health: MMI updates

Bits and pieces of news on international health policy: each “MMI update” is 140 characters or less - these are the rules of the game on twitter. Just enough for a headline, eventually an author, a date, the source – and a link to the website where you find the full information. Have a look at some of our “tweets” published during the last month. As usual, it’s a bit much, so take it or leave it.

Health systems strengthening
Health services, health financing
Universal health coverage

MMI HSS thematic guide:  
MMI UHC thematic guide:


Equity and human right to health
Social determinants of health

MMI thematic guide:  


Human resources for health

MMI thematic guide:


Health research

MMI thematic guide:  

Access to medicines and vaccination
Intellectual property rights, free trade agreements and public health
Communicable diseases, neglected tropical diseases


World Health Assembly: Medicines R&D resolution and CEWG proposal


Women’s and children’s health
Reproductive health

MMI thematic guide:


Rio+20 Conference


Global health governance and policy
Development goals beyond 2015


65th World Health Assembly and WHO reform

MMI thematic guide: WHO reform:
MMI thematic guide: Global health governance


The role of NGOs and international aid agencies

MMI thematic guide:


Noncommunicable diseases
Mental health


Other topics


Follow the MMI Updates on Twitter:


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