IHP news #506 (January 25, 2019)

A relic of the MDG era

By on January 25, 2019



Dear Colleagues,

The global health year is now in full swing, with this week among others a focus on  WHO’s 144th Executive Board Meeting  (ongoing), a landmark report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work, the further rise of mental health ( in the workplace  and elsewhere) on the global health agenda (a very encouraging trend!),  the latest  G-Finder report, the February issue   of the Lancet Global Health, an update on Ebola’s DRC outbreak, a WHO report on  the health of refugees and economic migrants in the European region, …  and of course, Davos 2019 (ending today).

As I explain elsewhere in more detail, Davos is a relic of the MDG era (and not just because Bono & Tony Blair are still around 😊). The summit and everything it stands for has never been very popular, for obvious reasons, but in our times “Davos” has become no less than a toxic brand in the eyes of most ordinary citizens, at least in the West. I’m afraid in the era of fake news, this is a Fact. The global health “elite” happily ignore this, and still clearly consider Davos a great place for networking and advocating for (mostly lofty) causes and/or their organizations’ work (and so the summit is still extensively covered in this newsletter). Somehow, we should find a way to combine some of the Alliances, Initiatives and Partnerships started in the MDG era that did and do vital work (Global Fund & GAVI for example), with finding a proper solution to the, in many ways justified anger and backlash of the masses against the neoliberal globalization of the past few decades. Like most of you, I do not think that solution will start in Davos, though. This (telling) picture (of the record number of private jets in nearby airfields) summed that up rather nicely. Having said that, I watched a couple of rather interesting global health related sessions online, for example on financial innovation for global health  or on mental health. It’s just that these conversations should no longer take place in Davos. The place epitomizes a system that has failed far too many people in the world, as well as the planet.  And the WEF’s “multistakeholderism” has turned out to be a lie, as it mainly favours one particular stakeholder, big corporations.

Anyway, without much further ado, let’s get to the news & publications of this week. Do check out also the list of IHP correspondents of this year (2019), who will contribute to this newsletter, focusing either on their country or region.

This week, Meggie Mwoka gives her take on Kenya’s journey to UHC.

Enjoy your reading.

Kristof Decoster



(you find the pdf of the full newsletter here: IHPn506 )

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