Bulletin #4: Crackdown on health activists

This fortnight  

Shatha Odeh, a nurse and health activist from the organization Health Work Committees (HWC), was detained along with 9 other Palestinian activists by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) on 7 July, 2021. Her arrest comes a month after raids on HWC headquarters by the IOF. HWC’s role in the provision of healthcare to Palestinians is undeniable, and even more crucial as the pandemic enters a fourth wave in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This crackdown shows a complete disregard on the part of the IOF for the well-being of Palestinians. This is also widely seen as a strategy to crush Palestinian civil society.

In Brazil, right-wing attempts to undermine progressive movements and institutions might be backfiring. As the country passed the mark of half million Covid-19 related deaths, an inquiry is underway to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro’s pandemic response. We carry a report on the effects of the current federal administration’s approach and its impact on the unified health system, on the vaccination drive and on politics in Brazil.

Health workers around the globe have had enough of austerity measures that undermine public health systems and their working conditions. In this issue, we bring insights into health workers’ actions held in June and July in Jamaica, Nigeria and the UK.

German chancellor Angela Merkel was met with protests during a recent visit to the US. Protesters in Washington and other places appealed to her to stop blocking the TRIPS waiver proposal at the WTO, and make a concrete move in support of vaccine equity.

Experts Helen Bygrave, Yogesh Jain, and Tahir Amin discuss the lessons of the struggle to make insulin accessible to all those who need it in a video interview. And, in our In case you missed it section, you can read about the Cuban vaccines, progress on the TRIPS waiver negotiations and much more.

The arrest of Shatha Odeh undermines access to health care in Palestine

On 7 July, Israeli Occupying Forces detained 10 Palestinian activists including Shatha Odeh from Health Work Committees. Odeh’s work is an important contribution to the right of health in Palestine.

Covid-19 in Brazil: Over half a million deaths and a tale of political incompetence

The inadequate approach of Jair Bolsonaro’s administration has strongly contributed to the horrific death toll in Brazil due to COVID-19. Support for his policies has hit a record low, as he faces an inquiry for deliberately spreading the virus.

Across the globe, health workers push back against informalization, austerity and poor conditions

Doctors have been applauded as heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the working conditions of many physicians, especially junior doctors in the Global South, have been on the decline for years, leading to an increase in discontent and protests.

Free the vaccine: Protests greet German chancellor Angela Merkel on US visit

Demonstrations calling for Germany to stop blocking the patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines were held in the US capital, Washington DC, among other places, as German chancellor Angela Merkel made an official visit to the US to meet president Joe Biden.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Why is insulin still inaccessible to so many?

Insulin is an essential drug for diabetics. However, 100 years after it was isolated, over half the people who need it do not have adequate access to it. Experts explain why this is the case.

Data speaks

In case you missed it

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