Antwerp, 17 October 2018. In summer, the working group on Effective Health Cooperation of the Medicus Mundi International Network (MMI EHC) launched an essay contest among Network members, their partners and other organizations engaged in international health cooperation.

Referring to our discussion paper on “Health Cooperation: Its relevance, legitimacy and effectiveness as a contribution to achieving universal access to health”, we have invited all representatives of organizations engaged in international health cooperation to submit their answer on how to actually change health cooperation beyond aid.

In the meantime, the MMI jury accomplished its task and selected 6 contributions for publication in an online reader on the MMI website. The winner – the author of the most convincing/inspiring answer selected by our jury – has been invited to present his/her essay at a session on “health cooperation beyond aid” hosted by MMI EHC at the 10th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH 2017) that took place today in Antwerp, Belgium.

We are happy to herewith present the winner:
Natalie Sharples, Head of Policy & Campaigns
at the MMI Network member  
Health Poverty Action

“Achieving health justice requires radical change. Change in polices that create poor heath, change in the global distribution of power and resources, and change within the health justice movement itself. At our organization, there are a number of things we are proud of. We don’t create parallel systems. We work closely with local authorities, district health committees and national governments to build effective health systems that are appropriate and accessible to those who need them. We look to challenge power imbalances from local to global levels. And we tackle the root causes of poverty without pretending that aid and charity are solutions. There are a number of other areas to which we are committed, but require ongoing struggle and reflection… “

We invite you to read Natalie Sharples’ rather tough message as part of our collection of essays which is now available online. And thanks to all colleagues who have provided great food for thought. Let us digest it – and then continue to further explore pathways for change.

  • “Health cooperation beyond aid: Pathways for change”
    A collection of essays by:
    – Natalie Sharples, Health Poverty Action
    – Renée de Jong, Wemos
    – Mirre van Veen, Amref Flying Doctors
    – Ketaki Das, West Bengal Voluntary Health Association
    – Manusika Rai, i+solutions
    – Bill Jeffery, Centre for Health Science and Law
    Download: Health Cooperation beyond aid