PHM Participation in Global Health Forum in Havana, Cuba, 16-20, Nov. 2009
The Global Forum for Health Research is an independent, international organization, set up to demonstrate the essential role of research and innovation for health and health equity. The Global Forum is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The annual meetings of the Global Forum provide opportunities for learning, sharing, and networking.
The Peoples Health Movement has been engaging with the Global Forum since the last 7-8 years. Ravi Narayan is a member of the apex Foundation Council of the Forum. While the Forum has participation from diverse actors, including policy makers, academics, researchers, students, industry, activists, NGOs and multilateral agencies such as the WHO, it has been an useful platform for the PHM to engage with different experiences and also to use the opportunity to present the PHM to a global audience.
The 13th Annual Meeting of the Global Forum (Forum 2009) was organised in Havana, Cuba, between 16-20 November, 2009. About 900 participants from 85 countries participated in the Forum. The theme of Forum 2009 was “Innovating for Health of All”.
The PHM has a significant presence in the forum, taking into consideration that many of them also represented their individual organisations/institutions. The PHM delegation included:
- (1) Ravi Naryan, (2) Abhay Shukla, (3) N.B.Sarojini, and (4) Amit Sengupta (India);
- (5) Carmen Baez and (6) Damián Verzeñassi (Argentina);
- (7) Zafarullah Chowdhury (Bangladesh);
- (8) David Legge and (9) Fran Baum (Australia);
- (10) David Sanders and (11) Bridget Lloyd (South Africa);
- (12) Claudio Schuftan (Vietnam);
- (13) Garance Upham (Switzerland);
- (14) Gabriel García Salyano (Mexico); and
- (15) Hani Serag (Egypt).
The Forum also had a number of other participants who associate with the PHM on different occasions, such as Paul De Vos (Belgium), Kumanan Rasanthanam (Switzerland), Sundari Ravindran (India), Oscar Lanza (Peru); Ron Labonte (Canada) and Margret Esme Berkhout (the Netherlands).
The PHM was involved in organising the following two major sessions at the forum:
- A pre-Conference session on 16th November titled: “Innovation in training for global health research: capacity-building through the revitalising health for all initiative on comprehensive primary health care”. The event was organised by PHM in collaboration with International People’s Health University, University of the Western Cape and University of Ottawa
- A Session in the Conference on 18th November, titled: “Social determinants: recommendations for research The research and innovation agenda for social determinants of health”. The event was organised by PHM in collaboration with the World Health
Abstract: The conclusions of a series of broad consultations on research priorities for equity in health, revisited in light of the work of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, will be presented and commented. How can research on the identified priorities be taken forward? How can the significant institutional barriers to conducting and publishing research – including bias towards biomedicine, influence of corporate interests, bias of reward systems, limited nature of evidence accepted, peer-review system and research methodologies – be overcome?
In addition to the above Dr. Zafarulah Chowdhury spoke at the plenary session titled: “Policy recommendations for improving the global health research and innovation system”
Others sessions where PHM participants were Resource Persons (as session facilitators or presenters) included:
- Session titled: “Lightning talks” -- David Legge (Health for all, now: the social movements Approach) and Amit Sengupta (The way forward to deepening civil society participation in research for health equity), Carmen Baez, (The Cuban Health Programme in South Africa) and Gabriel García Salyano
- Session titled: “Research, innovation and civil society” – Amit Sengupta
- Session titled: “Research to strengthen health systems” – Abhay Shukla (Community monitoring of health services in India)
- Session titled: “National policies to nurture social entrepreneurship” -- Zafarulah Chowdhury
PHM also had a stall at the “marketplace” in the forum venue, where PHM publications and other publicity material were displayed.
As has been the practice in previous forums, the entire PHM delegation met with other delegates at a specially organised informal session during the Forum. It was used as an opportunity to talk to other delegates about the PHM and its major programmes. The PHM delegation also had a very useful interaction with an organisation called Medic, which is engaged in translating and making available in English research articles and other resources on the Cuban Medical system.