Moving health cooperation beyond aid

Dear Network members and partners,

While we are used to apply a global perspective in the fields of economy or communication, we don’t have the same global vision for the right to health. Health inequities in the world are still a big problem that makes a lot of people suffer and die, even if we have the knowledge and capacities to end most of it. Moreover, diseases do not need passports and we can’t stop them at the borders, as we can see in some epidemics such as Ebola, but also in other global problems such as diabetes or hepatitis.

Improving health services is essential, but better health for all cannot be achieved without addressing poverty, social protection, gender equity, nutrition: the social, political and economic determinants of health and health policies. The World Health Organization is rightfully promoting Universal Health Coverage (UHC), but we can’t forget the determinants of health and the political context of health care and health cooperation if we really want to change the present situation. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the commitment by all countries to achieve them by 2030 are based on such a global vision necessary to build a better and sustainable world. It is high time to move from rhetoric to action!

The MMI Network has adapted its activities to the challenging environment. We are successfully implementing our Network Strategy 2016-20 with the two main fields of international health cooperation and global health policy and governance, at the same time aiming at having more organizations on board to expand our influence and activities. In 2017, we have welcomed two new members, the Andalusian School of Public Health (EASP) and the Health Policy Unit of the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (ITM). MMI is also looking for innovative ways of funding our work, exploring ways to achieve a sustainable financing.

Overall, and beyond our own work, the year 2017 has again ended with more questions than certainties. The international institutions are quite confident that they know what needs to be achieved in global health, but there is no consensus in how to do this. So there is “enough” work ahead, also for the MMI Network. We are confident that we are on our way. And we look forward to the Jubilee of the Alma-Ata Conference that took place in 1987 and its Declaration that inspired so many of us – and continues to do so.

The MMI Network is first and foremost a member-based association and the participation of its active members is key to its results. Therefore I heartily thank all our members for their ongoing engagement and suport, but also my SC colleagues, the working group coordinators and members and the Executive Secretary for making MMI a lively and inspiring community.

Carlos Mediano, President
Medicus Mundi International Network
(extract from: Message of the President)

“Short stories” by Network members

In addition to the institutional report, we have again received great contributions by MMI Network members. Their “short stories” provide a good picture of realities and challenges in the field of international health cooperation and global health policy and governance. Thanks – and enjoy!