Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, April/May

MMI Network News, April/May

“We will build the future now, together” (editorial)

Dear reader,

At the end of this week, our secretariat will send out to our members and key partners the invitation for our Annual General Assembly taking place in Geneva on 27 May, in the week of the World Health Assembly. First announcements of the Assembly, the related public lunch event and the MMI engagement in the World Health Assembly can be found below. As in every year, the Assembly will be the moment to discuss with our members and partners the achievements of the MMI Network in the past year and to look out into our future. We can do this with confidence.

The year 2016 has been a year of big changes in the big policies for developing our world, where the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) started their way towards an expected better, more equal and sustainable world. The SDGs will also strongly determine the global health agenda and the work in health cooperation for the next 15 years.

Personally, 2016 has been also a special year for me. I took over the chair of the Medicus Mundi International Network in May, at our Assembly in Geneva. To be the visible head of an organization with more than 50 years of life means a great honour but also a deep responsibility. I will try to do my best to reach the level of my predecessors, especially the last president, Nick Lorenz, who left a mark in our lives not only due to his professional capacities but also to his human qualities. During the mandate of Nick, our Network’s Strategic Plan 2016-2020 was discussed and adopted, leaving us a clear path of what MMI has to do in the next years in order to remain a leader in society advocacy for better global health governance and in the promotion of relevant, legitimate and effective health cooperation.

It is a remarkable coincidence that one of my first tasks as president of MMI was to proudly join the president of Medicus Mundi Spain in a plenary session of the World Health Assembly in May 2016. In this plenary session Medicus Mundi Spain was awarded with the WHO Sasakawa Health Prize for its project entitled “The Transformation of Public Health Systems Based on the principles of Primary Health Care (PHC)”. 

However, MMI will remember 2016 mainly as the year in which our Strategic Plan started its successfully implementation.

International health cooperation

In order to achieve our goal of “promoting knowledge sharing and mutual learning between actors in international health cooperation”, we launched an MMI working group on Effective Health Cooperation (MMI EHC). After its launch event at the MMI Annual Assembly in Geneva, this new working group found immediately great interest among Network members. A discussion paper on “Health cooperation: its relevance, legitimacy and effectiveness as a contribution to achieving universal access to health” was presented by MMI EHC in September at a public workshop on “Health cooperation beyond aid” in Berlin. The paper and the workshop with rich discussion have been first, encouraging steps in a longer reflection about the future of health cooperation in the coming years.

...and global health governance

In the area of global health governance, the MMI Network participated as in previous years, in the WHO Executive Board meeting and the World Health Assembly with an impressive list of civil society statements on key agenda items developed in cooperation with the “WHO Watch” team hosted in our delegation.

But the highlight of the year was certainly the launch of the project of a Geneva Global Health Hub (G2H2) in a civil society side event to the World Health Assembly. MMI Network has been deeply involved in the creation of this project, and the Secretariat of the Hub is hosted by MMI in an office we opened in Geneva. The goal of G2H2 is “to contribute to longer-term strategic thinking and coherent and sustained action by civil society entities involved in global health advocacy, taking account of country-level contributions and national variability”. This Hub is trying to help civil society to contact with global health institutions based in Geneva, trying to re-equilibrate the imbalance of presence and inputs in global health debates between those defending the public interest and others defending commercial interests.

There is still a lot to do. Civil society is expected to promote and contribute to better and more equitable and sustainable processes to reach the agreed global health goals. And this is a field where the MMI Network and its members have much more to say. Because the future won’t be built tomorrow. We need to build it now, together.

Looking forward to seeing you in Geneva!

Carlos Mediano, Federation of Medicus Mundi Spain
President of Medicus Mundi International – Network Health for All

Adapted from: MMI Annual Report 2016 (Message from the President)


Geneva, May 2017: MMI Annual General Assembly; World Health Assembly and side events

Network event: MMI
"We will build the future now, together."
General Assembly of the MMI Network
Geneva, 27 May 2017

The General Assembly of the MMI Network will take place in the week of the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA), at the ICRC Museum in Geneva, which is situated just opposite the main entrance of the Palais des Nations. This well-established arrangement allows Network members to link their participation in the MMI Assembly with attending the World Health Assembly as a member of the MMI delegation; on the other hand WHA delegates are invited to join the MMI meeting as our guests. The formal invitation to MMI Network members and partners will be sent out on 28 April



Network event: MMI
Health Cooperation beyond aid
Public lunch event as side event to the MMI Assembly
Geneva, 27 May 2017

With this public side event to the Annual General Assembly of the MMI Network and to the World Health Assembly, the working group on Effective Health Cooperation (MMI EHC) of the Medicus Mundi International Network intends to deepen the dialogue on how actors in development cooperation such as international NGOs or bilateral agencies can engage in a legitimate, relevant and effective way to achieving universal access to health.


Network event: MMI
70th World Health Assembly and side events:
MMI participation and contributions
Geneva, 19-31 May 2017

This year's World Health Assembly (WHA) will again be a week full of intensive debate on key global health issues, both within the formal Committee meetings and in a never ending series of formal and informal side events. This year a particular attention on WHO governance results from the election of a new WHO Director General. As an organization in official relations with WHO, the Medicus Mundi International Network is invited to make statements under items concerning technical issues.

The MMI delegation will be involved in a series of side events inside and outside of the Palais des Nations. We are co-organizer on an official side-event on "Responding to the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance: Perspectives of Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organizations and Developing Countries" on Monday evening, 22 May (Palais des Nations), and co-sponsor of the WHO/GHWN reception "Health Workers United" on Thursday evening, 25 May (Hotel Intercontinental). More to come... For side events taking place inside the Palais des Nations, WHA registration is required.

If Network members like to join the MMI WHA delegation, please register at our secretariat until Friday 5 May.


MMI Network: Events, news, papers and resources

In memoriam Miguel Angel Argal Echarri

The Medicus Mundi International Network mourns the death of its former President Miguel Angel Argal Echarri (†1.4.2017), a person who dedicated his entire life to international health cooperation.


Network event: MM Switzerland
HIV Test and Treat: Are the 90-90-90 targets set for 2020 within reach?
Bern, 10 May 2017

"Get tested! Know your HIV status! Slogans we hear a lot from the ambitious treatment target ‘90-90-90’ introduced by UNAIDS in 2013. It means 90% of people who are HIV infected will be diagnosed, 90% of people who are diagnosed will be on antiretroviral treatment and 90% of those who receive antiretroviral will be virally suppressed by 2020. At the upcoming MMS/ conference we will discuss best practices, challenges and lessons learnt to reach this target by 2020. We will analyse the situation in Switzerland and will draw conclusions from and for sub-Saharan Africa."


Network event: medico international
Control or Prevention
Berlin, 15 May 2017

“The potential tension between health protection (health and social care) and health security sets the stage for the symposium of the German Platform for Global Health (DPGG). Together with speakers from different countries and backgrounds, we like to debate how policies of the globally dominant industrialized countries influence and sometimes impede the conditions of health in countries of the South. Moreover, how the creation of supportive and legally binding financial compensation mechanisms can contribute to the realization of the right to health for all people.” (medico international is a member of DPGG)


Network resource: EASP
Web platform "IntegratedCare4People"

"The IntegratedCare4People web platform was launched in May 2016 to support the implementation of the WHO Framework on integrated people-centred health services. The web platform is a global network that supports knowledge exchange and interaction among stakeholders around the five strategies proposed by the Framework. This collaborative web platform fosters the generation and dissemination of implementation knowledge, lessons learnt and tools, contributing to the transformation of service delivery by promoting the translation of knowledge into action." (EASP website)


Network project: i+solutions
i+solutions leads consortium to streamline patient access to essential treatments in Nigeria

“i+solutions is the lead partner in a consortium working with the Nigerian government on the Nigerian Supply Chain Integration Project (NSCIP). Financed by the Global Fund and administered by the Nigerian Ministry of Health, the objective of NSCIP is to improve patient access and availability of medicines – through visibility, control and efficient last mile delivery, which aims to reach health facilities in the most remote parts of the country.  It will also ensure tighter integration of zonal supply chains between Federal & State, Donors, Public & Private Sector, and across commodities - HIV, Malaria, TB, Reproductive Health and Vaccines. The goal is to create a streamlined, cost effective and ultimately more sustainable National Pharmaceutical Supply Chain.” (i+solutions news)


Network report: Wemos
Big Pharma's depressing pills

“7 April was World Health Day, an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO). This year’s theme, depression, is a pressing health issue worldwide and in the Netherlands. It is therefore important that medication meant for treating depression is safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.”


Network report: EPN
The Changing Face of Pharmacy

"'If you want to explain any poison properly, what then is not a poison? All things are poison, nothing is without poison; the dose alone causes a thing not to be poison.' These were the words of Paracelsus, a physician in the 16th century in his contribution to what is now recognized as toxicology in the medical field. He was challenging, against significant ridicule and resistance from his fellow physicians, the irrational concoctions and mixtures that were prescribed then without any regard to what the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) should be.” (EPN e-Pharmalink)


Network report: Health Poverty Action
In this newsletter you will read about Alphonsine...

"I have a nursing background and started working with Health Poverty Action in 2014. I work with 27 Mother Daughter Clubs from remote and hard to reach places, and assist them to solve issues which hinder their community’s development. This includes sexual reproductive health, HIV prevention, and other activities that promote health and wellbeing. In this newsletter you will read about Alphonsine, a resilient HIV positive mother who is combating the spread of HIV among young people in her area. I am very passionate to work with such people.” (HPA newsletter)


Network report: Cordaid
Sexual health discussed with religious leaders

"For over five years Cordaid and partners have promoted and strengthened sexual and reproductive health care services in Burundi. Now we are joining hands with religious leaders of all denominations to make sure young Burundians can make informed decisions when it comes to their own sexual health and family planning.” (Cordaid news)


Network report: action medeor
action medeor is now part of the “Partnership for Quality Medical Donations" (PQMD)

"We are proud to announce that action medeor is now part of the ‘Partnership for Quality Medical Donations’ (PQMD). This February, we became the 39th member of the global alliance. PQMD is leading the development and championing of high standards in medical supply and service donation. It seeks to enhance access to health care in underserved communities and in areas affected by disaster.” (action medeor website)


(no) MMI updates on health systems and health cooperation and global health governance and policy

We are currently reassessing how to continue providing MMI members and partners with the compilations of “MMI updates” known over the last years as a (very long) section of the monthly MMI news. Do you miss these updates in the current issue? If yes, let us know. Anyhow, you are welcome to follow the updates by MMI and its HRH working group on Twitter – and we recommend to you to have a look at the great weekly newsletter produced by our new Network member, the ITM IHP Network.

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