Protecting the Health of the Poor: Social Movements in the South

Protecting the Health of the Poor: Social Movements in the South

WORKSHOP organised by CROP, Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), Incentives for Global Health (IGH) and the Developing Countries Research Centre at the University of Delhi.

21-23 October 2011 | New Delhi, India

Workshop programme

In October 2011 CROP held a workshop in India on the topic “Protecting the health of the poor: social movements in the South". This event was organized with Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) and the University of Delhi.  

The workshop in New Delhi gathered participants from Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe, all presenting papers on a variety of perspectives on poverty and health. Scholars and representatives of social movements engaged in discussions during the workshop and other related events about feasible ways to promote health in the South.  Towards this end, inspirational health initiatives in Indian slum areas were shared by representatives from the NGOs SWAASTHYA and HRIDAY.  An example was presented from innovative and successful cross-border organisation of community health care services in hard to reach areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.  From such locally-focussed approaches there is a large span to the health effect of international agreements and health actions, an effect that was skilfully presented in papers from other participants.  In several presentations from Colombia examples were shared of litigation processes to enforce the right to health care and medication.  Human rights perspectives to health were highlighted throughout the workshop, particularly in works from Ghana and Mexico. Several presentations voiced how this right is violated by agreements of intellectual property rights that prevent access by the poor to affordable medications for life threatening diseases.  The Health Impact Fund was presented as one innovative approach to improving access by the poor to life-saving medicines.

A main outcome of this workshop is the understanding that to ensure the right to health of the poor, urgent action is needed at multiple levels.  Health should be promoted through ensuring the prerequisites for health, including nutrition, shelter and income.  Illness prevention can be strengthened through health education and health care services, and when illness is present quality treatment should be available in a way that is accessible as well as locally acceptable.  At all stages, from promotion and prevention to treatment, action is needed from international and national policy levels right down to local social action at the grassroots level. 

Parallel to the workshop was the Indian launch of Academic Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), an event that followed previous launch events in Europe (see note below).

CROP extends heartfelt thanks to all participants and co-organizers who made this workshop an enriching experience!

Call for papers - New Delhi 2011


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