Contents of the MMI Annual Report 2019

  • The year before Covid-19 was a good one
  • From Astana to New York …and from PHC to UHC?
  • “Health cooperation beyond aid”: Leaving our comfort zone
  • Coming together for sharing, joint reflection and mutual learning
  • Global Health Policy and Governance: What was important last year…
  • Network development: Unfinished business
  • MMI: Network members

Download the Annual Report 2019

Dear Network members and partners,

2019 was a year in which nobody could imagine how a single disease was going to change the whole world in the next year. Still shocked by the consequences of the actual pandemic of Covid-19, we currently use this shock also to reflect if a Network such as Medicus Mundi International is still needed. And yes it is, even more than ever. The things we have learnt from the pandemic are things that are part of the vision and mission of our Network:

  • Nobody alone can manage this pandemic, so we must promote alliances between different institutions and governments to push for a sound global health system in which civil society organizations play an active role. MMI is an example of that, with our mixed membership of academic institutions and NGOs with diverse fields of work. And we have ourselves promoted alliances between different actors, such as the Geneva Global Health Hub or the Kampala Initiative.
  • The most vulnerable suffer most: The inequity in healthy living conditions and access to health care is probably the biggest health problem in the world, and all policies must be centered on people and their right to health. We can’t fight against Covid-19 in a vertical way, but must integrate the response to this pandemic in a broader strategy. And beyond the pandemic, millions of people are dying for causes that are avoidable, as we would have the knowledge and capacity for ending them.
  • Maybe health is not everything, but health affects everything. The Coronavirus has affected economies, the environment, gender relations, social development and the core of the political systems in many countries. Time to work in a more comprehensive and holistic way, as already outlined in the 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration; time for “health in all policies and all policies in health”.
  • Finally, we see again the relevance of linking the global and the local. While our members contribute to the improvement of people’s health with direct action and in partnership and solidarity, we also see how global issues and decisions affect countries, health systems and people’s lives, and we contribute to addressing these issues at the level of global policies and governance. This interconnectedness defines the field of work of our members and the Network itself.

If we have a look at 2019, we can highlight activities in both fields. In global health, the MMI Network was present at the most important event, the UNGA High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage that was held in New York in September, and contributed to it despite the difficulties in getting civil society voices heard. Medicus Mundi International contributed to the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, with our own side event on “Shrinking space for civil society organizations engaged in SRHR” as a highlight. Finally, MMI has been actively engaged in platforms of global health advocacy such as the Geneva Global Health Hub (G2H2) and critically commented on the making of strategic documents such as “The Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All”.

In health cooperation, MMI participated in a meeting held by the Open Society Foundations in Morocco to share experiences between different institutions about the external factors that affect health cooperation. But the most important activity last year was the launch of the “Kampala Initiative”, a new civil society platform for dialogue, reflection and joint action on health aid.

These are difficult times, but these times and challenges also an opportunity to change “old habits” and bet on innovative policies, where the right to health, ecology, justice and equity will be the true axes that move the world. MMI will be there.

Thanks to all who contributed to another successful year!

Carlos Mediano

Network members: Short stories

In addition to the institutional report, we have again received some 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.