by The International People's Health Council
“A turning point in the history
of the health movement” say health activists and academicians.
Cuenca, Ecuador: The struggle for ‘Health for All’
received a boost here today. International People’s Health
University (IPHU) was launched in a simple ceremony attended by
people from over 35 countries.
The IPHU is a project of the International People's Health Council
and part of the global People's Health Movement.
“Slogans are key in any people-based movement and they
can capture the knowledge and strategy in ways that support action.
But we need to back up the slogans, the languages of the masses,
with evidence and critical analysis” said Prof. David Legge.
Dr. Legge is a director of the IPHU and a well-known public health
expert from Australia.
61 students from 25 countries and various walks of life as well
as public health and medical experts from 10 other countries are
participating in the course.
“This is a much needed program. We are timing it with the
second People’s Health Assembly as a gesture of solidarity”
said Maria Hamlin Zuniga, Co-ordinator of IPHC.
Over 1500 people from all continents (Asia, Africa, Australia,
Europe and Americas) will be coming together for the second People’s
Health Assembly (PHA- 2) in the historic mountain city of Cuenca
from 17-23 July, 2005. ”The mass mobilisation is unprecedented”
said Dr. Prem John, an organizer of PHA-2 from India.
“I can do a medical course in my country (Australia), but
what I gain from the IPHU course is the people’s touch”
said Ms.Victoria Saint, a student from Australia.
“The course will help to serve as a tool to do reality
check on issues that block health for poor people, both in developed
and developing countries” said Ms.Tawnia Queen, a student
The presence of students from developed countries is seen as
a signal of soul searching amongst the public health constituency
“For me it is a satisfaction to represent the indigenous
people of Ecuador and to exchange the challenges and solutions
in different communities” said Ms. Martina Puculpala from
Ecuador. Ms. Puculpala, a student on the IPHU course, is the president
of the Federation of Indigenous Women and Agricultural Workers
The presence of indigenous people from Ecuador, Australia, Guatemala
and other places is a highlight of this unique course.
“Health is no more about fighting viruses” said Dr.
Arturo Quizphe, a professor of pediatrics at the University of
Cuenca and a faculty of IPHU course. “It needs to be located
in the context of increasing poverty, inequalities, new diseases,
casualties from wars, conflicts and disasters and unfair trade
agreements” he said.
“This is a rare opportunity to learn about the various
initiatives and struggles to defend the health rights” said
Mr. Naveen Thomas, a student from India.
“We are trying to create a cadre of professionals who can
show the courage to challenge the stereotypes and fight inequalities”
said Dr. Hernan Hermida during the inaugural speech. “This
is the first step to ensure health for all, especially for the
poor in today’s world” said Dr. Hermida, a leading
public health expert, from Ecuador.
The International People's Health University aims to contribute
to the ‘health for all’ campaign by strengthening
people’s health movements around the globe, by organising
and resourcing opportunities to learn, share and plan for health
activists, particularly from Third World countries.
The IPHU will
and resource short course opportunities for health activists
an on going program of short courses for Third World health activists
a broad range of learning opportunities; a growing collection
of resource materials; and a wider network of resource people
to progressively enhance its programs.
For media enquiries for IPHU and PHA-2, please call:
+593 919 6 17 12 (Dr. Unnikrishnan PV- firstname.lastname@example.org ) or
Gloria (Eng and Spanish): 0 9873 9376 (From abroad : dial +593
Fabiola (Spanish) : 0 9453 0115 (From abroad : dial +593 9453
Sanjana / Satya (English): 0 9156 2935 (From abroad : dial +593
9156 2935 ) (email@example.com)
www.phmovement.org and www.iphcglobal.org