Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, November 2012

Diagram: UNTT report, Juli 2012
Diagram: UNTT report, Juli 2012

Editorial: Well-being for everyone. From selective development to an inclusive post-2015 agenda


Dear reader,

The Millennium Development Goals have galvanised the efforts of the global community to work towards a more dignified life for all, with some significant successes. Attention was brought to the plight of the poor, more financial resources were raised and clear targets set for governments to work towards. This has meant considerable improvements for people’s lives: On average, the targets on reducing poverty, better access to water and equal enrolment of boys and girls in primary school have been achieved.

But the MDGs have also left much to desire for.

For one, UN Member States accepted right from the start that only part of those in need would have their human rights to education, health or water fulfilled. Whether an expectant mother in Sierra Leone survives childbirth is thus not a matter of her right to life and health. Rather, in the context of Goal 5 to improve maternal health, a mere three quarter reduction of the maternal mortality ratio is sufficient to have achieved the goal. That we are still far off-track to achieve this cannot be emphasised enough to maintain momentum but it should not distract from the limitations of the MDGs’ approach.

The injustice is exacerbated by the way the MDGs are reported upon. The MDGs’ aggregate targets for reducing poverty and improving health have led to a concentration on reaching the largest numbers of people, and therefore often the easiest to reach. This carries the danger of actually reducing resources for the most marginalised, as they are diverted towards meeting the targets in the easiest way.

In health, separating different health issues, such as specific diseases, maternal, and child health, into sectoral silos has worsened the non-integration, inefficiency and unsustainability of vertical health programmes. In particular, the necessary foundation of strong health systems has been neglected. Achieving further progress on health requires the provision of comprehensive primary care, addressing the huge health worker and drug shortages, tackling weak data systems and inadequate funding.

A new development framework must aim towards the well-being of everyone and place equity and human rights at its heart. For inequities to become more visible, monitoring mechanisms must report data that is disaggregated along the major fault lines of social disparities. It is essential that targets be set nationally and they should have a dimension of reducing the gaps in health between different groups so that resources may be allocated to the most marginalised.

Health is a prerequisite and an outcome of development and, as such, cannot be missing from the post-2015 development framework. It should also be seen as a cross-cutting issue across a range of sectors which are determinants of health, such as water and sanitation, nutrition or intellectual property rules. An overall health goal could be a reduction in the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death or could revolve around gains in life-expectancy. But one important means towards achieving well-being and longer life-expectancy is universal health coverage which would not only extend health services in their range and reach but would also prevent people from plunging into poverty because they are protected against the financial risks of health care.

Last not least, the responsibility for achieving human well-being and global equity lies with everyone, not just with developing country governments as a response to overseas aid. While aid remains important, there must be much more emphasis on building the capacity of developing countries to raise domestic revenues to fulfil the rights of their citizens in the longer term. There also need to be specific goals addressing the root causes of poverty and inequity such as unfair trade rules or environmental exploitation. Changes in these areas could do much more for tackling poverty sustainably than overseas aid can ever achieve.

Corinna Heineke, Senior Policy Advisor
Health Poverty Action, www.healthpovertyaction.org
c.heineke@healthpovertyaction.org

Shortened version of a blog posted in the Huffington Post
and on the Health Poverty Action website on 1 November 2012
www.healthpovertyaction.org/news/well-being-for-everyone/

 

MMI Network: News and events

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Network campaign: Medicus Mundi International
Health in the post-2015 UN development agenda.
Civil society input in UN thematic consultation

What will be the role of health in the development agenda beyond 2015? Beyond 2015, a global civil society campaign pushing for a strong and legitimate successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals, appointed the Medicus Mundi International Network to coordinate campaign input in the thematic consultation on health in the post-2015 development agenda led by WHO and UNICEF.

During the month of October, the secretariat of the MMI Network collected initial civil society input and published it in an “inbox” on the MMI ePlatform. Thanks to everybody who contributed to this great resource! Since 5 November, the drafting process takes its course, based on a first draft provided by Mariska Meurs and Remco van de Pas, Wemos, who accepted to act as lead authors.

UN thematic consultation website: www.worldwewant2015.org/health
MMI Network, “inbox”: www.bit.ly/mmi-beyond2015call

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Network event: DWA Cuamm
Is health really for everyone?
Florence, 24 November 2012

“Is health really for everyone? How is social crisis affecting Italy and Europe? What kind of healthcare models are we tending towards? In an open meeting, experts in public health from four different Countries will exchange ideas and outline a scenario of the current situation, highlighting possible prospects for the years to come.” Event and roundtable co-organized by Doctors with Africa Cuamm.

www.educationglobalhealth.eu/en/news/250-is-health-really-for-everyone

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Network event: MM Switzerland
A generation at risk: psychosocial support for Africa's children
Basel, 4 December 2012

“Over 16 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents to HIV and AIDS, and most of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to those affected by chronic illness and death, many other children are confronted by the challenges of poverty and conflict. This year’s Novartis Foundation Symposium invites esteemed speakers and experts to assess psychosocial approaches and discuss various interventions that strive to ensure mental health and wellbeing for Africa’s children.” Annual symposium of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, a member of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland.

www.novartisfoundation.org/page/content/index.asp?MenuID=708&ID=2298&Menu=3&Item=45.16

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Network event: MM Switzerland
The Global Fund and Civil Society
Bern, 12 December 2012

“The Global Fund and Civil Society will be in the focus of the thematic part of the Annual Meeting 2012 of aidsfocus.ch, the Swiss platform HIV/AIDS and international cooperation. Christoph Benn, Director, Resource Mobilization and Donor Relation Division, and Linda Mafu, Head Advocacy and Civil Society, both from the Global Fund, accepted the invitation to share with us recent information on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. They will join in the discussion on the roles, opportunities and challenges of Civil Society in shaping the Global Fund.” aidsfocus.ch is coordinated by the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland.

www.aidsfocus.ch/platform/Event.2012-09-24.3544

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MMI Network event: DWA Cuamm
Mothers and children first: initial steps
Rome, 15 December 2012

“We will discuss about innovation and research on Maternal, Neonatal and Child Care and present the results of CUAMM's five year project Mothers and children first started a year ago. Will be showing the activities implemented and the improvement of four hospitals (in Ethiopia, Uganda, Angola and Tanzania), underlining the outcomes and the use of innovative methodologies and tools.”

www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/events/2012/mothers-and-children-first-initial-steps

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Network resource: MM Switzerland
Executive Course on Intellectual Property,
Diplomacy and Global Public Health

Geneva, 13-15 February 2013. “Intellectual property (IP) issues play a very important role in discussions of national and global health problems. Yet, individuals whose primary expertise is health or diplomacy may find these discussions inaccessible because they lack a sufficient understanding of basic intellectual property concepts and their relationship to global public health. This course is designed to help fill this gap by exploring current debates about health-related aspects of IP through a multi-disciplinary learning process.” Course co-organized by the Global Health Programme of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, a member of Medicus Mundi Switzerland.

www.graduateinstitute.ch/corporate/executive/training-workshops/ghd-ip_en.html

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Network event: ACHAP
Increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa:
the challenge of sustainability in scaling up FBOs response
Lusaka, 25-28 February 2013

The Africa Christian Health Associations’ Platform (ACHAP) will hold their 6th Biennial Christian Health Associations Conference on February 25-28, 2013 in Lusaka, Zambia. The conference will be hosted by the Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) in collaboration with ACHAP Secretariat. The conference will create an opportunity for Christian Health Associations to take stock of their contribution to the non-communicable diseases prevention and management in various countries and discuss opportunities for strengthening capacity, partnerships and health systems for quality, accessible, integrated and sustainable services for NCD prevention and control through the faith based health networks in Africa.

www.bit.ly/achap-2013

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Network event: FAMME and MMI
50 years of Medicus Mundi Spain, 50 years of MMI
Barcelona, 7-8 June 2013

Medicus Mundi International Jubilee Assembly as side event to the jubilee event "50 years of Medicus Mundi Spain", including a public conference on primary health care. Save the date! A proper announcement will be published later.

www.bit.ly/mmi50
www.medicusmundi.es/famme/50_aniversario__2

 

International Health Policy: MMI updates

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Health systems strengthening
Health services, health financing
Universal health coverage


MMI thematic guides:
>www.bit.ly/mmi-hss
>www.bit.ly/mmi-uhc

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Human resources for health


MMI thematic guides:
> www.bit.ly/mmi_hrh
> www.bit.ly/mmimigrationguide 

 

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Health systems research


MMI thematic guide:
www.bit.ly/mmi-research  


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Access to medicines and vaccination
Medical research and development

 

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Women’s and children’s health
Sexual and reproductive rights and health


MMI thematic guide:
> www.bit.ly/mmi-mch


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Equity and human right to health
Social determinants of health
Poverty and social protection


MMI thematic guide:
> www.bit.ly/mmi_sdh 

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Global health governance and policy
WHO reform


MMI thematic guides:
> www.bit.ly/ghgovernance
> www.bit.ly/whoreformguide
> www.bit.ly/mmi-ngoguide

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Health beyond 2015
MDGs and SDGs


MMI thematic guide:
www.bit.ly/mmi-beyond2015guide

 

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Other topics

 

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