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[afro-nets] Invitation to the World OPEN Health Assembly

  • From: "Claudio Schuftan" <cschuftan@phmovement.org>
  • Date: Tue, 3 May 2011 11:23:10 +0700

Open Minds —> Open Health @ WOHA2011

*Invitation to the World OPEN Health Assembly*

Health is a concern of everyone. From personal physical fitness to the threats posed by growing global pandemics, all people share an interest in improving the well-being of themselves and others. Access to health care is a Human Right, which should be respected in every country around the world. We are all part of ‘World Health’. The UN body responsible for this is the World Health Organization (WHO) which is governed by the World Health Assembly (WHA), its supreme decision-making body. It generally meets in Geneva in May each year, and is attended by delegations from all 193 Member States. Its main function is to determine the policies of the WHO. The sixty-fourth WHA, from 16-24 May, will address issues of concern to all, including NCDs, HIV/AIDS, Health Systems and the MDGs. What is discussed and decided at the World Health Assembly (WHA) will have an impact on the well-being of all. Yet very few people outside of the Delegates (the governments of 193 countries), WHO personnel and a handful of NGOs are engaged with this meeting as ‘stake-holders’ - in fact, the vast majority of the world’s population have never heard of any of this.

As health is everyone’s concern, the World Health Assembly should be more accessible to a wider audience. Towards this, the second World OPEN Health Assembly (WOHA) is being held, mostly online, to connect people from around the globe with the WHA in Geneva. WOHA 2011, organized by public health activists, with support from IMAXI Cooperative and Partners, connects the high level meeting in Geneva with anyone who wants to learn, discuss and have a ‘voice’ on health policy and practice, and dynamically encourages more people to get involved in improving the world’s health. Via tweets, SMS, facebook, skype and other media, a healthy global discussion, from the bottom-up, begins. The theme of WOHA 2011 event is the Right to Health, with a focus on achieving universal access to care and support.

For three days, the online and ‘live’ meeting discussions will gather and share the views and messages of many - from patients and providers to politicians and ‘personalities’, to open-draft recommendations for action. Learning from last year’s WOHA 2010, the World OPEN Health Assembly 2011 will offer three days of live ‘Chat’ discussions via Twitter, SMS, FaceBook, blogs, with background documentation from WHO and civil society organizations. Over a dozen topical sessions, each moderated by public health activists and experts in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America, will aim to ‘open-draft’ specific recommendations that will be delivered on 24th May to Dr. Margaret Chan, DG of WHO and the World Health Assembly. Short messages (SMS) and tweets received at #WOHA2011 will also be included in the Million Message March to the UN, to be delivered to the OHCHR on Human Rights Day, December 10th, 2011. Following WOHA 2011, similar ‘open health’ events will be linked to the High Level Meetings at the UN on HIV in June and Non-Communicable Diseases in September, and other UN ‘family’ meetings. This six month Million Message March (@MMM2UN) will reach out for inputs from those most affected by the diseases and issues, and deliver these heartfelt voices directly to the ‘deciders’ while making them available to all advocates and activists. The March and WOHA are being coordinated by the IMAXI Cooperative, a NGO driven by volunteers living with the same life-threatening diseases that the WHO, UNAIDS and other UN agencies are trying to confront. Galvanizing other key ‘stakeholders’, WOHA and the Million Message March are now preparing to move forward, raising high the Right to Health, from the bottom-up.

Join the Million Message March to the United Nations Meet-Up at the World OPEN Health Assembly (WOHA) Tweet @WOHA2011 @MMM2UN SMS: +41 787597991 FB: http://on.fb.me/gxLyzl Web: www.imaxi.org
Direct contacts: Celina <menezes@imaxi.org> Case <gordon@imaxi.org> Joe <thomas@imaxi.org>

Manal, Ezhara Beach, Kuttikayam Munambu, Thottada, Kannur 670007 Kerala
+91 9673205466 info@imaxi.org www.imaxi.org skype: imaxi.org twitter: @imaxicoop


World OPEN Health Assembly

*FrEquENtly AskEd quEstiONs*

What is the World Open Health Assembly (WOHA)?

An innovative 3-day event to bring together people from many countries through the creative use of social media, such as Twitter, SMS and Facebook, to hold a global ‘community meeting’ in tandem with WHO’s high-level World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva. This ‘Open’ meeting, 16-18 May, aims to bring the views and voices of those on the ‘bottom’ to bear on the decisions of those at the ‘top’, far away from the realities of health conditions in the community. using social media for social mobilization and information. WOHA is a collaborative initiative of the IMAXI Cooperative and Partners.

What will happen at WOHA?

—> Non-stop ‘chat’ discussion on twitter of key issues found in, or missing from, the agenda of the WHO’s World Health Assembly (WHA), between patients and care-givers on the frontlines, advocates from NGOs and experts around the world.
—> Live moderator teams in India, South Africa, UK and other countries from partner NGOs to provide warm human support to the online discussions, and feed in messages from mobiles (SMS), facebook and skype messages.
—> Direct tweet-feeds from the World Health Assembly in Geneva, allowing the ‘community’ to follow and comment on what our ‘Leaders’ are saying about us, without us being there.
—> ‘Open-drafting’ of recommendations for the WHO to be hand delivered to Dr. Chan on the 24th of May before the conclusion of the WHA, and all the messages will join the ‘March’ to the UN to be delivered on Human Rights Day in December.
—> Socialize and mobilize with other people from the global health community, and exchange your ideas on shared issues and concerns.

How do i participate?

Simply. WOHA makes being ‘active’ for the health of your community easy for anyone. There are two ways to activate: If you have internet access, we strongly recommend opening a Twitter account (easy and free at www.twitter.com) and then follow @WOHA2011. No registration is required, just be sure to use the hashtag #WOHA somewhere in every tweet that you send. Anyone can search for the #WOHA, read all the messages as they arrive, and comment or retweet to their followers. In some 60 countries, you can register your mobile to receive and send ‘tweets’, even without internet access.
See http://bit.ly/lVozLE for the list.
For those (millions) without access to the web but with mobile phones, simply send an SMS to +41 787597991 with your name / country and we’ll send you the details, with different options just for you. We are in the process of setting up national SMS numbers in many countries, and some with toll-free numbers, and this may be available where you are.

What are “speak-up sessions?”

Just that! Speak-Up at twelve special ‘chat’ discussions on the 16th and 17th May during the World OPEN Health Assembly (WOHA). Teams of well known ‘friendly-expert’ moderators, gathered in partner organizations in different countries, will help guide 1 hour global chats on twitter, with inputs/outputs also by SMS, FB and Skype. The topics for each session are the moderators choice, derived from the WHO/WHA official agenda (or what’s missing) and related issues of interest to their community members / followers and ‘newly-involved’ people around the world. These Speak-Up Sessions encourage people to join in the ‘open’ drafting of recommendations on 18 May of a policy document which will be handed to Dr. Chan, DG WHO in Geneva on the 24th of May. Speak-Up Session inputs and messages will also be included in the final declarations at the end of the Million Message March at the High Commission on Human Rights in December.

Can you explain all this in 140 characters or less?

What can be said about WOHA will be ongoing and evolving, but we can begin with two basics: @WOHA2011 World OPEN Health Assembly 16-18 May Online/Frontline SMS/Tweet Meet tandem w/ WHO World #Health Assembly. Speak-Up! Follow #WOHA
@WOHA2011 World OPEN Health Assembly 16-18 May. SMS & Tweet Meet. Tell WHO &
Govrnmnts ur needs/views on #health, loud’n’clear! Follow #WOHA

Can you provide an example of the kind of sMs messages people should send?

The first one we received, and then tweeted globally, can be an example of Speaking-Up on whatever you think: “Dear Dr. Chan, Care-Givers need universal access to care and support TOO!
#WOHA” @WOHA2011 RT_@WHOnews
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Manal , Ezhara Beach, Kuttikayam Munambu, Thottada, Kannur 670007 Kerala
+91 9673205466 www.imaxi.org skype: imaxi.org
twitter: @imaxicoop