IHP news #520 (May 3, 2019)

Labour Day & global health

By on May 3, 2019



Dear Colleagues,

This week’s issue zooms in, among others, on yet another ‘No Time to Wait’ AMR report ( this one, by the UN Interagency Coordination Group (IACG) on Antimicrobial Resistance;  PS: while we consider AMR one of the gravest threats in global health, we’re not convinced it’s of the same order as the (existential) climate breakdown threat, and so find the calls for AMR awareness raising  Extinction rebellion-style’ action a bit odd, certainly when coming from Dame Sally Davies; for AMR, we rather prefer the ‘silent tsunami’ metaphor); the UN Multistakeholder  Hearing on UHC in New York (and ensuing GAP 4 All consultation where apparently ‘activist bureaucrats’ were spotted 😊 ); a new Lancet O’Neill Institute Commission on Global Health and Law (with focus on the legal determinants of health);  the further worsening of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC   with the most deadly month (April) so far and financial support still lagging; the new (and hopefully last) 5-year polio (Endgame)  strategy of the GPEI  (we hope that, like the Avengers, polio comes to an End sooner rather than later 😊), emphasizing the limited window of opportunity; and of course many interesting and/or hard-hitting publications, this week among others a BMJ Global Health Editorial on #MeToo and global health, a new report by  Duke University’s Center for Policy Impact in Global Health   on domestic resource mobilization,  a review article in the Lancet on  Iran in transition, … We also for the first time came across the term “planetization”.

Clearly, we also hope you haven’t ‘laboured’ too hard on Labour Day, maybe you even had a chance to practice the wonderful art of #niksen (as the Dutch call it) (see the NYTthe case for doing nothing).  More in general, we hope that like AOC and likeminded politicians, global health starts to focus much more on ‘Decent Work’ for all, around the globe, instead of – as is still mainly the case – on decent work conditions for health workers, no matter how important that in itself already is. The Wellcome Trust’s consideration of a four-day work week was a good start, even if it didn’t materialize in the end. At least for me, it’s clear that a fairer and healthier future in the 4th industrial revolution era should incorporate (far) more ‘division of labour’ and fair(er) wages (or other income guarantees that ensure a dignified life), as part of an overall more humane global economic system. That also seems like a no-brainer in the supposedly more holistic SDG health era. Perhaps at the next GAVI and Global Fund replenishments, we can already invite the trade unions (or their ILO representatives)? Given the location of the next GF replenishment (Lyon), a few testimonies from ‘yellow vests’ would also come in handy to kick off the event. Bet they can come up with a few innovative global health financing suggestions fit for our times.  Maybe Macron can even organize another “Grand Débat”   for the occasion, now that he has the knack of it 🙂

Enjoy your reading.

Kristof Decoster



(you find the pdf of the full newsletter here: IHPn520 )

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