Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, 29 April 2015

Screenshot from "A luta continua" (Medicus Mundi Catalunya, 2014)
Screenshot from "A luta continua" (Medicus Mundi Catalunya, 2014)

Editorial: A luta continua!

Dear reader,

Travelling back to Switzerland from a conference or consultancy appointment in Southern Africa is normally a rather relaxed experience, with a good dinner and a comfortable seat in one of these big planes. In February, when I was repatriated from Mozambique in an ambulance jet after having suffered a stroke during a business meeting in Maputo, I was lying on a stretcher with all kinds of medical devices around me. At that moment, nothing was as usual, but all was excitement.

All was excitement – and at the same time relief: Yes, I survived it. I had not become another figure in a dire statistic of “preventable deaths”. I was rescued on the spot by competent colleagues who reacted immediately. I received prompt and appropriate care in a clinic in Maputo. And I was already on the way back home, expecting further professional treatment and rehabilitation. 

Today these feelings are still very present. Currently undergoing rehabilitation in a specialized clinic in Basel, I am fully aware of my luck and privilege – in a sense of having access to treatment and care in a competent and supportive environment, and being free of financial worries.

Unexpectedly, “access to health and health care” has become a personal experience, one that will certainly shape my future engagement in this field.

A luta continua. The struggle goes on. This is the title of an impressive documentary produced by Medicus Mundi Catalunya and shown at the MMI General Assembly in Geneva in May. The movie refers to the achievements, challenges and difficulties in order to build a strong national health system in ...Mozambique and to improve the precarious health situation of the population in this country. What a coincidence.

“Health for All”, access to health and health care as a fundamental human right: this is what the Medicus Mundi International Network stands for and aims at. I am confident that the Network Strategy 2016-20 with its double focus on international health cooperation and global health policy is a good expression of this ambition. I am also confident that the objectives and particular contributions of the Network to the work of its members, which are outlined in the new strategy, show us clear directions on this way.

A luta continua. And I’ll be with you

Nicolaus Lorenz, President
Medicus Mundi International. Network Health for All

 

MMI Network: Annual report and members’ short stories

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Reporting: Network MMI, Annual Report 2014
“Network Health for All”

The report on “progress and perspectives” of the MMI Network refers to the MMI Network strategy 2011-15 and the three major programs developed by the Network within this framework: Research and evidence processes; Human Resources for Health; Global Health Governance. The last year was also characterized by a successful process of institutional consolidation and development of the Network, resulting in the adoption of a renewed Network Policy and revisited statutes by the Assembly in May 2014 and the start of a strategy expected to lead to the adoption of a Network Strategy 2016-20 by the Assembly in May 2015.

Since the adoption of the new statutes, MMI calls itself "Medicus Mundi International. Network Health for All": our ambition has become part of our name!

> www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reporting/2015/annual-report-2014-of-the-mmi-network
 

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“Short story” contributed to MMI report: action medeor
Healthcare for grannies in Uganda

The “Granny Project” has been funded in 2013/14 by action medeor and implemented by PEFO Uganda in Jinja district Uganda, East Africa as a response to challenges faced by older persons in accessing health care services. The project targeted 600 grandmothers as primary beneficiaries for the pilot year 2013-2014. The project’s design based on the contextual analysis that access to services has remained a challenge in most parts of sub Saharan Africa particularly in Uganda.

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reports/2015/healthcare-for-grannies-in-uganda

 

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“Short story” contributed to MMI report: Health Poverty Action
Aid in reverse – compensation for health worker migration

Exploring the phenomena whereby rich countries have actively recruited health workers from the Global South, causing a catastrophic shortage of health workers in those countries, Health Poverty Action called upon the UK government to recognise how it has unfairly benefited from this situation and to do something about it. The latest report released by the International Development Committee, a parliamentary committee that scrutinises the UK’s development work, picked up on our recommendation for compensation.

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reports/2015/aid-in-reverse-compensation-for-health-worker-migration

 

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“Short story” contributed to MMI report: Health Poverty Action
The need for reform of illicit drug policy

For health organisations, it might seem obvious that the issue of illicit drugs is a public health issue. However, current policies at the national and international level treat drugs strictly as a law enforcement problem. This has serious negative consequences, not just for people who use drugs, but for public health as a whole, including among some of the poorest and most marginalised communities around the world. Health Poverty Action has recently released a report, Casualties of War, discussing these consequences and calling for a fresh approach to illicit drugs policy.

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reports/2015/the-need-for-reform-of-illicit-drug-policy

 

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“Short story” contributed to MMI report: Medicus Mundi Spain
Youth today: DO IT!

“Actua” (“Do it!”) is a joint project of four associations in the Navarra province, Medicus Mundi Navarra, Ilundain Foundation, Escuela de Tiempo Libre Urtxintxa, and IPES Elkartea, who are united to promote active citizenship, engagement and social involvement of young people, enabling them to participate in the society and to transform their environment, with a focus on human rights, sustainable development and prevention of social exclusion.

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reports/2015/youth-today-do-it

 

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“Short story” contributed to MMI report: Medicus Mundi Switzerland
Family planning as part of political campaigns

After almost 40 years of silence population control seems to be back in the debate of global development policy. Shaped by population theories of Thomas Robert Malthus in the 19th century, the axiom that certain populations are not able to control their reproduction on their own and are therefore punished by their natural environment in not delivering enough food is repeated again in public debates – such as experienced last year in Switzerland.

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reports/2015/family-planning-as-part-of-political-campaigns

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“Short story” contributed to MMI report: Medicus Mundi Switzerland
Innovative approaches in the fight against leprosy

The Novartis Foundation has been active in the fight against leprosy for over 25 years. Building on our extensive experience with field project partners and with input from world class experts in leprosy, we developed a new strategy to reduce the incidence of leprosy by interrupting transmission of the disease. The strategy focuses on early diagnosis and prompt treatment, surveillance and response, preventive therapy for contact persons of recently diagnosed patients, and research and development of diagnostic tools. Through the new leprosy elimination strategy, the Novartis Foundation is reinforcing its commitment to the shared goal of eliminating one of the world’s oldest and most persistent neglected tropical diseases.

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reporting/2015/innovative-approaches-in-the-fight-against-leprosy/view

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“Short story” contributed to MMI report: Wemos
The global governance for health arena in 2014

2014 started off as ‘just’ another year for Wemos, MMI and other civil society organizations attempting to get human resources for health into the limelight as an essential part of sustainable health systems, advocating for more policy coherence and a health-in-all-policies perspective and defending the regulatory, policy-making and norm-setting role of the WHO.

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reports/2015/the-global-governance-for-health-arena-in-2014

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“Short story” contributed to MMI report: Doctors with Africa CUAMM
Training doctors in Africa: "What are Italian students doing down there?”

Since 2005, almost 200 Italian medical students decided to take a step outside of their usual habits and traditional curriculum to go see firsthand a real situation of international health cooperation in countries that are often overlooked, where Doctors with Africa CUAMM brings health services every day. It ends up not being such a difficult step from the university classroom to Sub-Saharan Africa's red earth. It takes energy, a desire to learn and to get involved, challenge yourself and explore medicine in a different place.

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reports/2015/training-doctors-in-africa-what-are-italian-students-doing-down-there

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“Short story” contributed to MMI report: Memisa

Safe delivery in rural DRC: A motorcycle ambulance project

Until recently, the pregnant women of the Kinzamba healthzone (DR Congo) had to walk or cycle for tens of kilometers to reach a hospital. The dirt roads are in such a bad state that no car can pass. This is one of the factors explaining the high level of mortality in the region. That's why Memisa put in place a system of motorcycle-ambulances. Thanks to this emergency transport system and the participation of the local population, there was an immediate impact. Every two days, a life is saved in Kinzamba.

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reports/2015/safe-delivery-in-rural-drc-a-motorcycle-ambulance-project

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“Short story” contributed to MMI report: Cordaid
Universal Health Coverage in Fragile States

Until recently, many of the debates around Universal Health Coverage (UHC) addressed health coverage in middle-income countries and emerging economies. How the debates play out in fragile and transitional states is largely unknown. Therefore, Cordaid commissioned a qualitative study into perceived feasibility of pathways to UHC in fragile and transitional states.

> http://www.medicusmundi.org/en/contributions/reports/2015/universal-health-coverage-in-fragile-states

 

A Luta continua! Strengthening or weakening health systems? Geneva, 23 May 2015, MMI Annual Assembly and WHA side event

A Luta continua! Strengthening or weakening health systems? Geneva, 23 May 2015, MMI Annual Assembly and WHA side event

The General Assembly of the MMI Network will take place in Geneva, at the end of the first week of the 68th World Health Assembly. A luta continua – the struggle continues – is a good slogan for the adoption of the MMI Network Strategy 2016-20 in the business part of the Assembly, but also for the ongoing need to reflect about the influence of international health cooperation and a globalized health business on national health systems. Based on the movie “A luta continua” (Medicus Mundi Catalunya) and the case of Mozambique, a public workshop linked to the MMI Assembly and considered as civil society side event to the World Health Assembly will provide a good opportunity for the dialogue on what it takes to strengthen – or weaken – a national health system.

 

May 2015: MMI Network events in Geneva

 

International Health Policy: (no) 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. A bunch of “MMI global health updates” will be included again in the May/June issue of the Network News. In the meantime, you will find them here: 

 

 

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