Dear Colleagues,


As all of us were in Beijing until this weekend, we decided to skip one issue of the IHP newsletter, and offer you a brief newsletter on the symposium today. Hope all of you are safely back home by now.

Today’s guest editorial, written by Arthur Cheung, is linked to one of the prominent discussions in Beijiing – health beyond 2015.


Enjoy your reading.


Kristof Decoster, David Hercot, Ildikó Bokros, Peter Delobelle, Basile Keugoung &Wim Van Damme




Health Beyond-2015


By Arthur Cheung,  BSc, GCGPP; MBBS and BHlthSc (Hons) in progress (University of Queensland); Intern, Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organisation; International Director, Healthy Planet International, IFMSA

The next year or two are a crucial time for the global role of health, as the post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are developed. With the deadline for achievement of the MDGs approaching, work has begun in earnest to define the post-2015 development agenda. Having had great prominence in the MDGs, health now competes in a new arena with dominant players including energy and agriculture. The health community must be well informed on the context, both in process and content, and speak with a common message. This will ensure the strongest position for global health in an arena with many voices and little time.

Read the rest here

Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Beijing


1.    Beijing statement

In the final plenary session, Tim Evans read the Beijing statement aloud. It features a number of action points for the HSR community, and notes the achievement of some milestones committed to in Montreux.

You can find plenary session webcasts here  (plenary sessions from Wednesday till Saturday). As for the numerous parallel sessions, so far the symposium website provides no content/powerpoints. Stay tuned.


2.    Lancet (Comment) – Changing mindsets in health policy and systems research

Abdul Ghaffar et al.;

The WHO released a strategy on health policy and systems research at the symposium. WHO  calls for countries across the world to strengthen their health systems by embedding evidence-based research into every decision-making process. It launched two documents detailing both the importance of the strategy (Changing mindsets) and recommendations on how to implement it (Options for action).
The authors give the rationale behind the strategy in this Lancet Comment and also in a WHO Bulletin article.


3.    Lancet (Comment)  – Global engagement for health could achieve better results now and after 2015

Gunilla Carllson & Anders Nordström;

“More is expected from the global health organisations. Efforts by WHO, UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, the World Bank, the Global Fund and the GAVI Alliance are highly appreciated, but the sum of their collective resources is still not achieving as much as we would like in terms of improved health for poor people.”

In the MDG+ debate, the last word hasn’t been said, obviously. Emerging Voice Shishir Dahal from Nepal dwells on an MDG+ goal he would like to see become reality soon: utero-vaginal prolapse. He compares the challenge in Nepal to HIV in Africa.


4.    Launch of ‘Health Systems Global’

Health Systems Global, a membership organization dedicated to promoting health systems research and knowledge translation was launched in Beijing. A board of 11 members has been elected. You find all info on the Health Systems Global  website.


Some more information and articles on the Symposium:


At the symposium, Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller foundation, said in the opening plenary session that health experts and policymakers will urge a UN resolution on UHC, making transformation of health systems a global political goal in the post-2015 development agenda.

UHC forward has a number of short posts on the symposium, see here, here, and here.

On the IHP website, I also wrote a blog post with some reflections on the symposium and on Richard Horton’s impressive informal “Manifesto for a remoralisation of science”. In case you couldn’t attend the symposium, and still want to get a feel of the overall atmosphere during the plenaries.

Emerging Voice 2010 Théophane Bukele also gave his view on the symposium. More viewpoints from EVs on the Beijing symposium can be expected in the coming days/weeks.


5.    New Internationalist – Bad medicine

Dinyar Godrej;

Now that the policy talk is all about returning to publicly funded universal health coverage, this article provides some vital historical background.


Emerging voices during training, pre-conference & Symposium


The Emerging voices made quite an impression at the opening (Lungiswa, Mabel & Beverly) and closing (Qian, Raoul & Kopano) plenary session of the symposium. You can watch (and download) their eloquent and forceful presentations on the Symposium’s website.

But there were many more Emerging Voices present in Beijing. Check out the YouTube videos from some Emerging Voices presentations:

Finally, Moses Tetui (EV from Future Health Systems & Makerere university) reflects on the EV training programme & preconference at Peking university.

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