Three Hesperian staff members attended the 2006 APHA conference in Boston, Mass November 4-8. As usual, we had a booth in the massive Exhibition Hall, which we shared with Doctors for Global Health. It’s always a pleasure to be at the Hesperian booth, as hundreds of fans and supporters come by to share their stories and news of their work with us. Our friend Mohammad Shahbazi came by with the soon to be released Farsi version of Where Women Have No Doctor he has been translating. A returned Peace Corps volunteer told of how she used our books successfully to diagnose and treat countless villagers during her service abroad in Africa, despite her complete lack of prior medical training. Another woman who works in Latin America told of how our water and sanitation booklets have transformed a number of villages she’s been working in. And a huge number of people were thrilled to see our distribution of other classic titles that we’ve added to our stock, such as Training for Transformation and From the Roots Up. All in all, we did a lot of outreach for Hesperian, gained a plethora of new contacts, fortified existing contacts, and distributed a lot of books and materials!
Additionally, PHM-US (People’s Health Movement – US) gathered for a working meeting to plan for the upcoming USSF (US-Social Forum–June 27-July1, 2007). We committed to contact our networks to help organize sessions at the USSF that will highlight social justice issues, bring together US activists, and build the People’s Health Movement-US. We discussed having a PHM activist training that would run through the USSF, and a fundraising strategy to raise money for low income activists. If you are interested in knowing more or getting involved contact Tawnia Queen at [email protected].
Sarah Shannon, Hesperian’s Executive Director, spoke at a well-attended session about the Global People’s Health Movement and PHM’s Right to Health platform. She discussed two new PHM campaigns: the campaigns for the Right to Healthcare and the Right to Water. The Right to Healthcare Campaign is being launched in 15 countries around the world. It will focus on the increasing privatization of healthcare services and ways in which this denies access to basic healthcare services for poor and marginalized people in every country — from the US to India to Egypt to El Salvador. The Right to Water Campaign, based on the belief that access to safe and sufficient water is a critical determinant of health, calls on health activists to participate in Blue October organizing activities. The Campaign also addresses the privatization of water resources and the need for governments to provide clean water as a fundamental human right. In addition, PHM is asking for submissions to and participation in the development of the 2007-2008 Global Health Watch. The 2005-2006 edition of this book is being distributed by Hesperian.