Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, December 2009

MMI Network News, December 2009

Editorial: Change what is into what should be

Dear reader,

Social advocacy is an attempt to influence public policy. Social advocacy aims at changing the “what is” into a “what should be” - a more decent and more just society. In a globalized world, social change requires advocacy beyond countries’ borders: transnational advocacy and international advocacy, based on international networks and coalitions.  

At its meeting last week in Toenisvorst, Germany, the Executive Board of the Medicus Mundi International Network adopted a “MMI Advocacy Policy”, a document which describes why we regard advocacy as a core activity of our Network and which provides a set of guiding principles for the further development of our advocacy strategies, programs and activities. 

Advocacy in the field of public health is a core activity of the MMI Network, because it brings together all aspects of our Network’s engagement and adds a layer of value to the Network’s activities. Supporting our members’ efforts to achieve the shared vision of “Health for All”, our advocacy aims at influencing the policy landscape in which our members’ and their partners’ activities takes place.

For the Medicus Mundi International Network as a whole, advocacy is a crucial way to establish our credibility as a valuable voice in international health policy. For the Network’s members and their partners, joint advocacy within the MMI Network is a way of ensuring that their voice gets heard in policy fora that are otherwise difficult for them to reach. On the other hand, the Network can be used by its members and their partners for linking international campaigns with their local or national activities. For the global and national policy makers finally, our advocacy allows them to hear policy proposals based on the knowledge and experience of civil society institutions in areas of significant importance to them.

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International


MMI Network: News, Events, Reports, Resources

MMI Network document

Advocacy Policy of the MMI Network

MMI EB | “After the Network Policy and the Research Policy adopted both earlier on this year, the MMI Executive Board completed the series of basic documents of the Medicus Mundi International Network with an Advocacy Policy paper. The document published on the MMI ePlatform provides a set of guiding principles and operational guidelines for the further development of our advocacy strategies, programs and activities.”

MMI Network documents:

MMI Advocacy Policy (PDF):

MMI Network resource
Thematic Guide: Civil society and global health

MMI ePlatform | “How can the civil society and private not-for-profit organisations raise their voice and get involved in Global Health and Global Health Initiatives? How do they define their role between advocacy and cooperation? Our thematic guide to internet resources leads you beyond the limits of the Medicus Mundi International Network.”

MMI ePlatform

MMI Network resource: Wemos
Briefing Paper on Human Resources for Health

Wemos | Addressing the health workforce shortage, a new Wemos Briefing Paper presents ‘windows of opportunities’ on ways to ensure people everywhere have access to a skilled and motivated health worker, supported by a robust health system. It proposes four  strategic approaches that the Dutch government, members of parliament and civil society organizations can jointly take and support to address the global HRH crisis.   

MMI Network campaign: Cordaid
Cordaid HIV and AIDS Award 2009: The winners

cordaidpartners | “Cordaid and partners of the Caregivers Action Alliance’s (CAA) Organising Committee (HelpAge International, Huairou Commission, VSO International) as well as the World YWCA, reward and encourage leadership around the strengthening of home based care in responding to HIV and AIDS in the “global South” by awarding €15.000 for an organisation and €5.000 for an individual. The 2009 Award recipient for the category organisation is the National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda (NACWOLA). The Award recipient for the category best individual is Ms. Moira Catherine Boshoff; Care Ministry, South Africa. Find out more about the winners’ work and trends around home based care on the cordaidpartners website.

MMI Network event: Swiss Tropical Institute
Environmental Health: Here and There
Basel, 10-11 December 2009

STI | “To commemorate the merger of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) with the Swiss Tropical Institute (STI), the 14th STI Symposium is built around the theme of “Environmental health: here and there”. A diverse set of case studies will be featured, both from industrialized countries and developing world settings. This thematic focus reflects the substantial body of research, teaching and training of the merged STI/ISPM centred on environmental health issues in the North and in the South.” (The Swiss Tropical Institute is a member of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland) 

STI website:
Announcement on the MMI ePlatform:

MMI Network event: WHO, ITG Antwerp, Cordaid
Incentive Schemes and Performance of Health-Care Providers in Low-Income Countries: Recent Developments, Risks and Emerging Challenges
Clermont-Ferrand, 17-18 December 2009

WHO | “Performance-based incentive schemes (Performance-Based Financing, Result-Based Financing, Pay-for-Performance, Output-Based Aid) are receiving growing attention from governments, aid agencies and donors. Several low-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are incorporating these approaches in their public health systems' reform. This workshop, hosted by the CERDI institute and co-organized by WHO, ITG Antwerp, Cordaid and other institutions will cover recent developments at country level, both in terms of operational lessons learned and scientific evidence. The workshop will focus in particular on fragile states and countries that are in the process of scaling up their performance incentive schemes. The workshop will also provide a platform to discuss the limits and risks related to the performance incentive schemes developed in low-income countries.”

MMI Network report: Medicus Mundi Italy
40 anni di impegno nella cooperazione sanitaria internazionale

Brescia, 2 December 2009, MM Italy |  In a ceremony at its headquarters, Medicus Mundi Italy launched today the book “Medicus Mundi Italy. 40 years dedicated to international health care cooperation” (in Italian and English language): “La pubblicazione (in duplice lingua italiano e inglese) è stata fortemente voluta dal Consiglio Direttivo per due principali ragioni. Da un lato infatti è apparso opportuno raccogliere dati, testimonianza e documentazione fotografica di tutti i progetti più significativi che Medicus Mundi Italia ha realizzato in Africa, America meridionale e Asia. Ciò al fine di consegnare alle nuove generazioni di medici, infermieri, amministratori sanitari e a tutti coloro i quali si impegnano e si impegneranno nell’ambito della cooperazione sanitaria internazionale una documentazione viva che serva da radice ispirativa ideale per le attività future e che possa, altresì, stimolare un confronto di idee e di strategie per il futuro.” The book can be ordered at Medicus Mundi Italy.

MMI Network market place: AGEH
AGEH Short-term Advisors

Are you in need of someone to help your partner organisation to resolve key problems and issues on the spot? Or is ongoing professional backup needed for an agreed period of time? Then the AGEH "Short-term Advisors" Programme is the right solution for you.

MMI Network paper: Medicus Mundi Switzerland
Climate Change and Health

MMS | The issue no. 114 (November 2009) of the Bulletin of Medicus Mundi Switzerland is a collection of contributions in English and German on Climate Change as a political challenge and its consequences for health and health cooperation.   

MMI Network resource: Doctors with Africa Cuamm
Online course: Salute Globale e Equità in Salute

This online course on Global Health and Health Equity (in Italian only) has been developed by the Università degli Studi, Florence, in the framework of the Equal opportunities for health - action for development project co-ordinated by Doctors with Africa Cuamm.  "Il corso, della durata di circa 6 ore, è rivolto principalmente agli studenti della facoltà di medicina e chirurgia (futuri medici, infermieri, etc.) e di altre facoltà che a vario titolo e con diverse angolazioni si occupano di salute e di diritto alla salute (giurisprudenza, scienze politiche, economia, sociologia, etc). Il corso è rivolto anche a tutti coloro che, per motivi di studio, di lavoro, di interesse culturale o politico, appartenenti a organizzazioni non governative e di volontariato, intendono approfondire i temi della salute globale in un mondo in rapida trasformazione."

MMI Network conference report: Medicus Mundi Switzerland
Chronic Diseases in Developing and Newly Industrialized Countries: A new challenge for Global Health
Basel, 9 November 2009

MMS | Chronic diseases represent a major challenge for developing and newly industrialized countries and a growing burden to their healthcare systems, which are primarily geared to combating diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis or HIV and AIDS. Chronic diseases are already the commonest cause of death in Asia, Latin America, the European transition economies and urban Africa. They are affecting a growing number of young people, including children, who are afflicted by various chronic conditions caused by malnutrition and lack of exercise. The online documentation of the 8th Swiss Health Cooperation Symposium organized by Medicus Mundi Switzerland is available now.


International Health Policy: Updates

MMI Secretariat | Since we started to use the real-time short messaging service "Twitter", we published there already 150 “tweets”: small bits and pieces of news on international health policy. Each update is 140 characters or less - these are the rules of the game. Just enough for a headline, eventually an author, a date, the source – and a shortened link to the website where you find the full information. Have a look at some of our tweets published during the last month: 

  • Lancet series on health and climate change launched on 25 November 2009
  • The Unequal World of Health Data. How representative are data if the poor go uncounted? Peter Byass in: PLoS Medicine
  • AIDS Epidemic Update 2009: Eight-year trend shows new HIV infections down by 17%. Most progress in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Campaign: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. 25 November - 10 December
  • The Global Health Governance Crisis. Background document for discussion in preparation of the next Geneva Health Forum
  • UNICEF State of the World's Children report: Special edition celebrating 20 Years of Convention on Rights of the Child
  • Sceptical optimism. Improve data collection and program evaluation in Global Health. J. Birnbaum et al., Lancet comment
  • Who Cares About Global Health? A US survey ( provides insights relevant also for other countries - see charts!
  • An Economic Framework for Analysing the Social Determinants of Health and Health Inequalities. D. Epstein et al. (PDF)
  • Systems thinking for health systems strengthening. Report by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO (PDF)
  • Climate change and global health: linking science with policy. Supplement to: Global Health Action 2/2009 (PDF)
  • International Conference on Research in Human Resources for Health, Rio de Janeiro, June 2010
  • What is quality of life? Report of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, 2009
  • Greater equality and better health. Benefits largest among poor, but extend to nearly everyone. Pickett/Wilkinson in: BMJ
  • Research for the health of poor people: The Global Health Research and Innovation System. Matlin/Samuels in: The Lancet
  • Climate change and family planning: least-developed countries define the agenda. L Bryant et al. in WHO Bulletin
  • Are economists human? After invasion of social sciences by economists, "the empire now strikes back". A. Deaton in: The Lancet
  • WHO must reassert its role in integrating, coordinating, advancing the global health agenda, Prah Ruger/Yach in: ghgj
  • Recognize shortcomings of conventional approaches to health. Apply a capability approach. Ariana/Naveed, IDRC HDCA 2009
  • More health for your buck: health sector functions to secure environmental health. E Rehfuess et al. in: WHO Bulletin
  • Women live longer, but not healthier lives. WHO report "Women and health: today's evidence tomorrow's agenda" (11.2009)

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