IPHU A2M: Advanced Course (Online only)
The Struggle for Health and Access to COVID-19 Medical Products
People’s Health Movement and Third World Network
The Struggle for Health course of the International People’s Health University (IPHU) covers issues ranging from the research and development to the high cost of drugs, the role of global trade rules and their impact on health systems and people’s lives. It has also been a forum to understand the struggles led by health and people’s movements to achieve equitable access to affordable treatments. The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown up additional challenges in the struggle to access medicines and other medical products such as vaccines, diagnostics and also personal protective equipment. It has laid bare the reality that despite a global health crisis, Big Pharma’s profit making can override principles of the right to health for the majority of people on earth. However, there have also been efforts towards fighting this profiteering, such as the mobilisation for a TRIPS Waiver. The narrow and inadequate proposal that was arrived at during the 12 Ministerial Conference of the WTO (MC12) gives us reasons to rethink the current IP regime and R&D of medical products.
In this background, IPHU of the People’s Health Movement (PHM) and the Third World Network (TWN) announce an advanced course on “THE STRUGGLE FOR HEALTH AND ACCESS TO COVID-19 MEDICAL PRODUCTS”. The course is designed as a short online add-on training course for alumni of access to medicines IPHUs and those who follow issues of access to medicines and Covid-19 medical products. The course will look at the critical aspects post-MC12 and the long-term challenges that need to be addressed to make medical products (including Covid-19 medical products) more accessible to people.
The four-week course will commence from the first week of September, 2022 with classes being held on every Wednesday and Saturday at 13:00 hrs GMT.
The course, to be held online, will discuss the struggle for health during the Covid-19 pandemic with a focus on issues of access to medicines and medical products. It will commence with a broad overview of the context in which vaccines, medicines and other medical products remain out of reach for common people. The course will provide an overview of currently approved Covid-19 health technologies and examine whether the scientific and medical developments reflected the needs of developing countries. The course will examine the 17 June decision of the WTO on the TRIPS Waiver proposal and its implications for access in the developing world. The course will also review the scope of TRIPS flexibilities available at country level for governments and CSOs to use to overcome IP barriers and highlight those areas where flexibilities are still evolving or being understood such as in the case of trade secrets. The course will examine international access initiatives such as ACT-A and COVAX as well as industry led actions such as voluntary licenses and ask questions around their impact on increasing access. Finally, the course will examine local production initiatives that are gathering steam in developing countries and reflect on the implications of all these developments for future pandemics. The course includes detailed group work that participants are expected to research and take the lead on.
IPHU short courses are designed to enable younger public health professionals, including health activists, to make new connections, share experiences and study together with an aim to contribute in future to the People’s Health Movement and the wider movement for health equity.
To participate in the course, applicants will have to complete the application form. Organisers will review the applications and select participants. A total of 30-40 participants will be selected. The enrolment policy aims to achieve:
– Gender balance;
– Diversity of involvement: community-based organizations, health care agencies, NGOs, universities, government officials, etc; and
– Diversity of skills, records of activism, interests, experience, and educational backgrounds.
Essentials to Apply:
In addition to a reliable computer and internet access, the applicant should be
– Participants of previous IPHU courses on access to medicines
-A person with experience on issues of Access to Medicines particularly in the Covid-19 context.
Duration: 4 weeks
Sessions Per Week: 2 Sessions (Two-Three hours each)
Mode of Study:
Online Course with two contact sessions of 4-6 hours every week with an expected commitment of another 4-6 hours to complete the course work every week. So, a total of 8-12 hours every week is required to attend the course.
The selected students will also be able to access classes and study material through the moodle being specially created for the purpose of IPHU. The course will involve: pre-reading and exercises, lectures, small group discussions and film screening.
The course will be conducted in English.
Registration Fee and Scholarship
It is our endeavor to provide students with scholarships to attend the online course. In this regard, the registration fee will be waived off for all those who are selected to attend the course.
Faculty members will be a mix of academics and health activists of rich experience.
Last date for applying for the Course: 5th August, 2022. The organisers will inform the status of applications by 10th Augus.
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