IHP news #527

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Bread and circuses

By on June 21, 2019 

Dear Colleagues,

Rather busy week again, both on the conference and publication front, no doubt because soon holidays start to kick in in many parts of the world, and scientists haven’t really realized yet that   “working 8 hours a week is sufficient to gain the wellbeing benefits of employment”.  😊

Among others, this newsletter issue will pay attention to the 1st (scientific) Global Health Security Conference  in Sydney (where no doubt the  ‘politics of PHEIC’  with regards to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the DRC were discussed extensively); the 2019 European Development Days (EDD19) in Brussels (featuring once again Paul Kagame ànd Tony Blair, hurray! ); World Refugee Day (see below for this week’s Featured article by Elena Vargas, sadly an ‘experience expert’  since 2018); yet another “UHC lobby week” ( in Geneva and elsewhere, with the G20 summit in Osaka  approaching fast now, and later on in September, the UN HLM on UHC of course). In the run-up to Osaka, in ‘Health: a political choice – Delivering UHC 2030, co-editor John Kirton argues in his contribution that “UHC is rapidly rising to become an integral part of global governance as a whole”. True. As for the (public) money that supposedly goes with that stellar rise in global governance, I’m less sure. But as a start, earlier this week WHO launched a knowledge programme on financing common goods for health.  Hopefully, the beginning of a real change in the UHC conversation 😊!

This newsletter can’t avoid covering the planetary health tipping points that, more or less in front of our very eyes, are being crossed nowadays as the climate crisis continues to accelerate. The dire global ecological picture includes  water crises in more and more big cities (like Chennai now).  This week, WHO also launched another global AMR campaign; a brand new SDG report  was released (which didn’t sound too optimistic, but hey, at least the concept of ‘transformative change’ is gaining momentum in many circles 😊), results of the first Wellcome Global Monitor survey (which included info on  trust in vaccines  in various parts of the world) were published, a 2-week consultation is being organized on the Global Action Plan (GAP) and GAP Accelerator papers, there’s a new (UNICEF/WHO)  WASH report and a  CGD one on global health procurement, a  first-ever WHO global report on epilepsy

Fortunately, against this rather dire global backdrop, all of us still can enjoy ‘bread and circuses’, with, according to your preferences and/or national (sports) culture, the Women’s World Cup Football in France, the Copa America, Cup of African nations, the cricket World cup, or even International Yoga day! For the latter, festivities in India will probably again be led by their ‘Yogi-in-chief’. I suggest they fly in Justin Trudeau (who always knows how to dress for such an occasion), to make it a truly global event. And perhaps Xi can also do a Tai Ji or Qi Gong “thing” on Tian an Men square.  Enjoy it, while it lasts.  And as always, enjoy your reading!

Kristof Decoster



(you find the pdf of the full newsletter here: IHPn527 )

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