Bulletin #50: 75 years of WHO and 2 years of People's Health Dispatch
When the People's Health Dispatch was launched two years ago, the world was already reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic. The warnings from health activists, voiced long before the pandemic, quickly became a harsh reality. Health systems crumbled under the weight of the pandemic due to cost-cutting measures. These systems relied on a limited healthcare workforce and their tireless dedication, while multinational corporations, supported by high-income countries' governments, continued to prioritize profit over meeting the real needs of people.
The response to the pandemic should have been based on the ideals of people-centric health systems and calls to challenge the existing global economic order. Instead of advocating for this vision of health, the corporate media portrayed healthcare as inevitably expensive, technical, and detached from the concerns of the people. The People's Health Dispatch was launched to challenge that and provide an analysis rooted in people’s initiatives and responsive to people's needs. Its aim is to foster connections among health struggles occurring worldwide on a daily basis.
Over the past two years, we have witnessed significant developments in the field of health. The World Health Organization, which was founded 75 years ago, continues to face relentless attacks from the corporate sector and philanthro-capitalist institutions seeking to undermine its work. Additionally, next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the initial call for a New International Economic Order. Despite the considerable changes in the global landscape since the establishment of the WHO and the NIEO call, these concepts remain vital in inspiring health struggles around the world.
Since 2021, certain regions of the world have experienced important changes. In Latin America, governments have been elected that prioritize building health systems centered on well-being rather than profit. Latin America, with Cuba's revolutionary legacy serving as inspiration, appears to be at the forefront of progressive health reforms, spanning from Colombia to Brazil.
During this period, we have also witnessed a growing resistance to the influence of Big Pharma. This resistance has transcended the context of COVID-19 and evolved into a broader movement calling for the development of public capacities for the research and production of medicines and vaccines. The mobilizations advocating for a TRIPS waiver at the World Trade Organization made it clear that global health threats like COVID-19 can be defeated through solidarity, rather than by prioritizing private interests.
Throughout this time, health workers have tirelessly fought for the systems they operate in, the people they care for, and decent working conditions. Amidst looming austerity measures and brute force, they have waged their fights from countries like Myanmar to South Africa to Palestine.
As the wave of mobilizations by health workers continues to grow, we remain steadfast in our support for their struggles. We firmly believe that the call for Health for All—a more caring, daring world—will be realized through these collective efforts.
75 years after its foundation, WHO struggles for sovereignty
This year marked the 75th anniversary of the WHO. But as the UN agency approaches its yearly assembly in Geneva, it is still struggling to secure adequate resources for functioning independently of the private sector and pressures from high income countries
Inspiration and Illumination: People’s Health Assemblies towards a more caring world
The upcoming 5th People’s Health Assembly in Cali, Colombia, will be an opportunity to strengthen convergences that can jeopardize the existing world economic order
In the last two years
Is health transformation possible in Colombia? Living sabroso, living healthy
The recent victory of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez at the presidential election in Colombia, a great sense of hope has arisen when protection of health rights is concerned
Cuba’s COVID-19 vaccines: A journey of collaboration and revolutionary solidarity
With its development of five COVID-19 vaccines and the promise of sharing know-how with developing countries, Cuba has remained faithful to Che Guevara’s values of international solidarity and people-oriented medicine
The people of the world vs Pfizer Inc.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Pfizer has used every opportunity to maximize its profits, even if this meant reduced access to life-saving medical products for most of the world. The same is about to happen in the case of Paxlovid, the company’s Covid-19 oral treatment
Health workers in South Africa protest as post-pandemic austerity looms
Workers in health institutions in several provinces of South Africa have organized protests and industrial action as they face threats of job loss and reorganization of services
Myanmar’s pandemic coup: Health workers in the forefront of resistance
Four months after the military took power through a coup, Myanmar confronts a spike in COVID-19 cases. How are health workers dealing with the twin challenges of a pandemic and a repressive regime?
“The killing of a Palestinian is a daily act”
Islah Jad, a women’s rights activist and lecturer at Birzeit University, speaks about the state of the health system in Palestine and why organizations working for the Palestinian people are being targeted by Israel
Video (ES/EN): The clarion call of Health for All!
Roman Vega, Global Coordinator of People’s Health Movement, talks to Peoples Dispatch about the path ahead for the movement as well as measures that need to be taken in order to achieve them
75 años después de su fundación, la OMS lucha por su soberanía
El Día Mundial de la Salud de este año marcó el 75 aniversario de la OMS. Pero a medida que se acerca su asamblea anual en Ginebra, este organismo de la ONU sigue luchando por conseguir los recursos adecuados para funcionar con independencia del sector privado y de las presiones de los países de renta alta
La Asamblea Mundial por la Salud de los Pueblos que tendrá lugar en Colombia marcará un hito en la lucha por el derecho a la salud
El Movimiento por la Salud de los Pueblos se moviliza para la 5ª Asamblea Mundial por la Salud de los Pueblos, que tendrá lugar en Cali (Colombia) en diciembre de este año