Bulletin #72: Palestinian health workers inspire global health community

This fortnight

Health workers in Palestine continue to resist ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, including recent escalations of violence against health centers and hospitals, such as Al-Shifa Hospital. Their perseverance serves as an inspiration to nurses, pharmacists, midwives, and doctors globally. Hanne Bosselaers, a general practitioner with Doctors for the People in Belgium, reflects on the significance of the resilience of Palestinian health workers in the face of Israeli aggression, as well as the lessons that health workers worldwide can learn from their experiences.

These lessons, along with international solidarity in the health sector, are particularly significant as the long-term effects of Israel's war on Gaza become evident, especially through the rising incidence of hunger and malnutrition among children.

Healthcare in occupation and conflict settings will be a topic of discussion at the 5th People’s Health Assembly, scheduled to take place in Mar del Plata, Argentina, from April 7 to April 11. The participants will also address issues related to the transformation of health systems under the neoliberal model, gender justice in health, and many others.

The Assembly's program will include discussions on building alternatives to the current pharmaceutical production model, drawing on ideas from the recently concluded Public Pharma for Europe conference, as well as topics on global health governance. This is particularly crucial as World Health Organization members approach the deadline for the Pandemic Treaty and discuss potential shifts in health economics.

The People’s Health Assembly will feature a strong presence of health workers and allies from across the globe, including those engaged in ongoing efforts to protect the public health system. This includes health activists from Kenya, where doctors have intensified their opposition to planned health reforms that could harm the public interest.

In focus: Health in Palestine

Palestinian health workers are fighting for humanity

Hanne Bosselaers, general practitioner at Doctors for the People, talks about the contribution of health work in Palestine to global movements for solidarity and resistance

The tens of thousands of injured Gazans have nowhere to go as Israel continues assault on hospitals

A new attack on Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City adds to the overwhelming burden shouldered by patients and health workers. 15 out of 19 hospitals in Gaza City and 18 out of 20 primary health care centers are non-functional

Children’s health in Gaza obliterated by Israeli attacks

Children’s health in the Gaza Strip is worsening rapidly amid Israeli attacks, with mental and physical trauma, hunger, and infections on the rise

What to expect from the 5th People’s Health Assembly?

Health movements from around the world will debate strategies and tactics at the 5th People’s Health Assembly in Mar del Plata, Argentina, as Javier Milei’s brutal privatization policies attack public services in the country

Public pharma infrastructure could give the world access to a treasure trove of medicines

Health activists and scientists in Europe met to develop strategies to build regional public pharmaceutical infrastructure as pandemic lessons seems lost on governments and producers

WHO’s Economics and Health for All: a promising start?

The World Health Organization is trying to unshackle economics from traditional confines to prioritize health, signaling a radical departure towards a more holistic understanding of societal well-being

Kenyan health workers prepare for a new round of industrial action

The workers’ demands include stable working conditions and aligning incomes with living expenses. They are mobilizing at a time when the government is preparing to implement a highly unpopular round of healthcare reform

Data speaks

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