Post 3rd People’s Health Assembly events

It's a month since the 3rd People's Health Assembly ended. Here is a brief summary of the events from mid June until mid July.

International People's Health University (IPHU): The Struggle for Health (25 June to 4 July)

This was our first IPHU held in the southern part of Africa and was attended by 53 young health activists from 25 different countries around the globe, with the majority from Africa (35). Once again the IPHU had a fantastic energy, with the young activists sharing their experience and enthusiasm. The IPHU has proven to be a extremely good foundation for providing essential information and tools for developing a younger generation of health activists – some of this comes from the wealth of experience and the knowledge skilfully shared by the IPHU faculty volunteers, but also the facilitated sharing of the IPHU alumni. We look forward to hearing more from these newest IPHU alumni and how they have used the IPHU and PHA to strengthen and / or build PHM and actions towards health for all in their communities and region.

National Health Assembly (5 and 6 July)

South Africa PHM had a very successful National Health Assembly (NHA) on the 5th and morning of 6th July, which was attended by about 300 people. The focus of the NHA was the publicly funded National Health Insurance (NHI), which has already started in a few pilot sites. There is a strong need for civil society engagement around the NHI and this Assembly provided a good platform for laying a foundation and planning such an engagement. The meeting developed a Call to Action and a follow up meeting is planned for 8th September.

People's Health Assembly (PHA) (6 to 11 July)

Events culminated in the People's Health Assembly which saw around 1000 people representing more than 90 countries coming together to analyse, discuss and plan around the continuing global health crisis, worsened because of structural and socio-political determinants and the inequities persisting within and between countries.

From 5th July, Cape Town was buzzing with health activists gathering from around the world. The Assembly was not only a time for sharing and solidarity, but also a time to reflect on what we do and how best to move forward. There were 175 speakers, representing 45 countries in the morning sessions alone. In the afternoon self organised events were held. The programme was full and the main complaint was that it was difficult to decide what to attend. Please continue looking at our website as presentations submitted are all being uploaded.

In addition to reflecting on and receiving inspiration and input on our current PHM programmes, PHA provided the opportunity for new actions and areas of focus for PHM including extractive industries, food sovereignty, anti-privatisation campaign and gender and violence, CHW's, IP and of course mobilisation and action around health systems strengthening and universal coverage. We need you all and the continued energy and solidarity of PHA to move these all forward.

In advance and during the course of PHA, a Cape Town Call to Action was developed – this sketches out the problems as we see them, and provides proposals for clear actions to change things for the better. The Call-to-Action is still available on our website for input – but you need to be quick as this will be finalised soon.

The Assembly ended with a march in the centre of Cape Town to the South African National Parliament, where the Call-to Action was handed over to a representative asked to receive this on behalf of governments around the world.

PHM is undergoing a governance renewal process and after PHA, we had an extended Steering Committee meeting on the 12th and 13th July. This was very productive meeting and extremely essential. The 1st day was spent looking at PHA and follow up on actions; the 2nd day was looking at structural issues. Key points from the meetings will be circulated soon.

For more information:
Bridget Lloyd
Global Coordinator People's Health Movement
Cape Town, South Africa

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