IHP news #466

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All global health roads seem to lead to planetary health

By on April 20, 2018 

Dear Colleagues,


The tweet of the week (see title) came from Devi Sridhar who commented on this Guardian article, “More than 95% of world’s population breathe dangerous air, major study finds”.  I happen to agree, even if some of you know one of my favorite mantras is also “Truth is a pathless land”. If we are to get to planetary health in this century, I wonder more and more which path humanity needs to favour.  I’m pretty sure, though, that Klaus Schwab (WEF)’s planetary (ill-)health path is not the one I’d recommend. Klaus’ path led to Xi Jinping, this week – a cup of Oolong tea with Xi Almighty worked probably as yet another ego booster for Klaus (not sure he still needed it).  There’s not much wrong with Oolong tea, though.

This week, one of the retiring secretaries of our department called the Public Health Department “the philosophers of ITM”. It was meant as a compliment – although as far as I am concerned, I think I qualify more for the severely disturbed doomsday “philosopher” that Brad Pitt  played in ’12 Monkeys’  (1995). Bar Brad’s good looks, obviously.

Anyhow, it was one of these big global health weeks, with many global health roads leading to London (Commonwealth/Malaria summits, and a new movement to halve malaria by 2023), Dakar (Multilateral Initiative on Malaria’s (MIM) pan-African conference) and Washington (IMF/WB Spring meetings, with also a lot of focus on UHC (and how decision makers can boost equity in health financing more in particular) ); plenty of important publications; The Lancet paying special attention  to the murky UNAIDS sexual harassment story, and much more.

PS: a close second for ’tweet of the week’ came from Karen Grepin, when she watched (slightly in despair) a #manel on the future of UHC financing in Washington, with 7 men ( + Tim Evans 4 All right in the middle ). Karen sighed: ”… apparently gender is a continuous variable? Sometimes it does take a quantitative researcher to tell things the way they are.  Agnès Soucat also nailed it: “Apparently there are no women working on health financing in the entire world.”

Gentle suggestion for women: just boycott the whole thing next year (or at least every session with a manel). If no women are around, the fun will be gone too for all these men. Alternatively, bring some tomatoes and eggs.

Enjoy your reading.

Kristof Decoster



(you find the pdf of the newsletter here: IHPn466 )

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