Together with the media platform ViceVersa and other civil society organizations, Wemos started in 2017 a cycle of public venues with the aim to raise awareness on critical global health issues, facilitate African voices, to engage public and discuss health policy strategies worldwide.

The topic of the first venue in November 2017 was held at the Tropical Health Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam on the topic of health workers. It included speakers from the Netherlands, Belgium, Uganda and South Sudan. Also the Dutch Member of Parliament for the Green Party Corinne Ellemeet was present; Ellemeet is her party’s health spokesperson. The venue was moderated by publicist and former diplomat Petra Stienen. At our invitation, Amanda Banda, advocacy coordinator for the African region at Medécins Sans Frontiers, participated in the panel discussion.

In her contribution, she emphasized the need for more better trained and paid health workers. The health workers should also be more evenly distributed, so that also the rural areas – where still most people live in Africa – are covered. “A good health system finds people where they are, it is easily accessible when and how people need it”, she stated in the panel.

Parallel to the venue, ViceVersa is publishing articles on the topic of each venue. In November, ViceVersa interviewed Wemos’ director Mariëlle Bemelmans on health worker shortages in Africa. In the interview, she referred to her own experiences when working in Malawi, where maternal and child mortality remains high, due to lack of jobs for trained nurses and midwives. Governments should allocate more budget to health, and more of that budget should be used for creating jobs for health workers. The cycle will continue in 2018 with three further events on topics such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, and financing for health.


Contribution by Wemos Foundation to the Annual Report 2017 of the MMI Network

Announcement of the first Global Health Café:

Interview with Amanda Banda:

Interview with Mariëlle Bemelmans on ViceVersa (in Dutch):