Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, 20 June 2019

MMI Network News, 20 June 2019

Dear reader,

In our today’s Network News, you will find some short reports on our Assembly and events that took place in May in Geneva, as well as an outlook to what already looks like a quite dense programme of meetings organized by members of the MMI Network and potential places to come together in view of sharing and communication. If your upcoming meeting is not listed, please send out an announcement directly to all Network members through the “MMI cooperate” listserv (members only). And send a message to the MMI secretariat (and not to the listserv) if you want to engage in any of the opportunities for cooperation outlined below. I will get back to you after two weeks “offline” vacations (I will at least try...).

Best regards,

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International – Network Health for All

Looking back: MMI Assembly and Geneva events

Looking back: MMI Assembly and Geneva events

The MMI Assembly took place in Geneva on 25 May 2019, at the end of the World Health Assembly (WHA) week. For the second time, our Assembly and two side events were hosted by the Global Health Centre of the Graduate Institute, at their spectacular Maison de la Paix, one of “the” places where people met for WHA side events.

At the Assembly, the Board and Secretariat accounted to the Network members and partners the activities and achievements of the MMI Network in the past year. We did this with confidence: see the MMI Annual Report 2018 published in May and disseminated earlier. The Assembly elected Felipe Sere, Memisa, as a new Board member. Considering the still difficult financial situation and having in mind that MMI will soon start its new strategic process, the Assembly called all member organisations to support our work this year, if possible, with a voluntary additional contribution.

The Assembly was followed by a public briefing and dialogue session on the preparation of the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage and on the Global Action Plan (GAP) for healthy lives and well-being for all (civil society assessments, priorities, positions, perspectives) and by a planning workshop of the MMI working group on Effective Health Cooperation.

As in the last years , the MMI Assembly was complemented by other Network events in Geneva. The public event “Are NGOs spoiling our societies? Shrinking space for civil society organizations engaged in SRHR" organized by MMI in cooperation with the Global Health Centre of the Graduate Institute Geneva took place on Friday, 24 May, and found considerable attention.

One week before already, the MMI secretariat and many Network members were strongly engaged in a two-day civil society meeting organized by the Geneva Global Health Hub (G2H2), a project hosted by the MMI Geneva office.

The big MMI delegation at the World Health Assembly included Network members, but also project partners such as team of the joint PHM/MMI WHO Watch. As an organization in official relations with WHO, the Medicus Mundi International Network submitted a number of statements under various agenda items of the WHA and the following 145th session of the WHO Executive Board.

All in all, the week of the 72nd World Health Assembly was again an important and extremely busy one for the MMI Network and its working groups and hosted projects, with our official WHA side event on “Boosting community-led responses to reaching the most marginalized communities” on Thursday, 23 May, as another highlight. And yes, the gentleman who you might recognize in the picture above is ...WHO Director-General Dr Tedros, who contributed to the side-event with a strong call to strengthen the voice of the people, at all levels.


Looking ahead: MMI Network events

Looking ahead: MMI Network events

Network event: Wemos
Global health: everybody’s concern, everybody’s business
The Hague, 6 September 2019

"Please save the date for our congress 'Global health: everybody’s concern, everybody’s business' on Friday September 6th 2019 in The Hague. In light of our 40 year anniversary this year, we will look back on 40 years of our work, at current global health trends, recent power shifts, and open a constructive dialogue with policy makers, health professionals, NGOs and critical thinkers and students in the field of global health." (Save the Date from Wemos)



Network event (?)
European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH 2019)
Liverpool, 16-20 September 2019

"Every two years, ECTMIH brings together more than 1,500 scientists and experts from across the world. The Congress provides a platform for sharing research and innovation in the field of tropical medicine and global health. Contacts are made, networks are strengthened, and new partnerships are formed. It also acts as a forum for reflection on the role of tropical medicine and global health, taking into account the biggest trends of the twenty-first century, such as human migration and climate change." (quoted from ECTMIH website)

While some MMI Network members already confirmed their interest in attending ECTMIH 2019, there are yet no concrete plans for joint activities such as the MMI side events on "health cooperation beyond aid" and the booth MMI offered to its members at the 2017 Antwerp conference. Contact the secretariat if you have plans/proposals or like to engage in a team!



Network event (?)
UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage
New York, 23 September 2019

The preparations for the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage are in full swing. The theme of the UN HLM will be “Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World”. In April, UHC2030 published a "Key Asks" document, and an "interactive multi-stakeholder hearing" took place in New York. The MMI Network and its working group on Effective Health Cooperation follow the preparatory process closely. Find some input and reflections here.

Several Network members have already flagged their interest to participate in the UNHLM and potential side events, either under their own name or as part of an MMI delegation, and depending on the opportunites provided by the UN for civil society attendance. Contact the MMI secretariat for enquiries.

Network event: ITM Antwerp
Connecting the Dots
Antwerp, 9-10 October 2019

"ITM colloquia bring together experts from all continents to discuss the most pressing scientific questions in tropical medicine and international health. The 60th edition will build on this tradition by addressing the current challenges of global health, with a specific focus on migration, climate change and technological innovation.

  • ·One planet: Climate change, increasing population pressures, environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity affect more places and people than ever before
  • One health: The pressure on our planet is affecting food production and land use, but also human and animal disease patterns, adding to the challenges for health systems, programmes and services.
  • One future: Policy makers, researchers and health professionals face unprecedented challenges, while technology promises plenty of new opportunities. If used wisely these might be strong allies towards achieving health for all."



Network event
How to advance cooperation and solidarity beyond aid
Kampala, November 2019

A workshop organized by Medicus Mundi International together with interested civil society partners within and beyond the Network shall provide another space for sharing and strategizing among civil society organizations engaged in or dealing/struggling with “aid”. 

After some initial internal conversations, the MMI working group on Effective Health Cooperation is currently drafting a basic concept note for this "East Africa workshop" and will reach out to potential partners and/or co-hosts in early July, asking them about their interest and availability to joining the planning process and providing input to make the workshop relevant and successful.

Our starting points:

  • Continue and deepen the conversation on legitimacy, relevance and effectiveness of health cooperation between “northern NGOs” and critical civil society actors in the “global South” (as recently done in our workshops at the Astana PHC conference and the Dhaka People’s Health Assembly);
  • Support those with critical first-hand experience with or affected by international health cooperation to feed their voices into the debate at all levels;
  • Formulate, promote, disseminate and seek political traction for a critical narrative on cooperation and solidarity beyond aid;
  • Focus on particular concrete cases that can be seen as catalytic.

If you are interested to engage in the planning of this workshop, let us know by 7 July. Please send a short message to the MMI Secretariat, and we will include you in the list of organizations receiving the concept note and call for joining the team.



Network event, Swiss TPH (Medicus Mundi Switzerland)
Climate Change and Health Risks, Adaptations, Resilience and Co-Benefits
Basel, 5-6 December 2019

Swiss TPH Winter Symposium. "Climate change will affect global health in many different ways. Adaptation strategies will be sorely needed to prevent major negative health consequences in countries in most need and mitigation measures will result in substantial health co-benefits. Join us for a rich and intellectually stimulating programme of talks, discussions and debates on cutting-edge research and case studies from various world regions.

  • Climate-related health risks
  • Vulnerabilities and impacts in different contexts
  • Health and non-health adaptation measures
  • Frameworks for health system resilience strengthening
  •  Mitigation and health co-benefits

The Swiss TPH is a member of Medicus Mundi Switzerland.



Network event (?)
Improving access to health: Learning from the field
Geneva, 24-26 March 2020

Geneva Health Forum. "Health systems are facing serious dynamic challenges. Resources are increasingly limited in a rapidly changing world, where the nature of health needs are equally changeable. However, technological progress in the digital age and the emergence of new health actors expand our array of potential solutions to these unprecedented challenges."

The Forum organizer HUG is a member of Medicus Mundi Switzerland, and the topic of the 2020 Forum being potentially relevant for many Network members. Therefore, a team of MMI and MMS is currently engaged in a conversation with the organizers about possible contributions or spaces to be used by civil society organizations and networks - as we have done in 2018 with a session on eHealth. For enquiries, please get in touch with our Secretariat.


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