Thursday, April 30, 2009

Health for All? A Critical Analysis of Public Health Policies in Eight European Countries

(2008) Christer Hogstedt, Henrik Moberg, Bernt Lundgren, Mona Backhans

"In recent years, a considerable number of countries have developed and implemented strategies aiming at reducing inequalities in health. However, knowledge of effective policies or strategies to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in health is still very fragmented. The aim of this book is to describe and compare different European health equity strategies and their potential successes.

The main part of the material comes from a comparative study of national public health strategies for equity in health with the following participating countries: Denmark, Finland, England, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden. National experts wrote the country chapters which not only cover questions concerning whether their countries were taking measures on the individual public health problems – such as smoking, alcohol or physical activity – but also if the policies had considered the wider, social determinants of health and experiences of the potential implementation processes."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Everyone is affected by a pandemic, but not everyone is affected equally"

Just posted on the Wellesley Institute web site at

"Everybody is affected by a pandemic, but not everyone is affected equally. That’s the sobering conclusion of a new research and policy paper released today by the Wellesley Institute. As the world braces for a possible swine flu pandemic, the need for proper pandemic planning and effective emergency responses is drawn into sharp focus. Ontario’s current health disaster plans recognize the need to address inequities and inequalities, but fail to deliver the funding or resources to meet the requirements of all Ontarians."

Research paper: “Bridging the Preparedness Divide
Policy paper: “When It Comes to Pandemics, No One Can Be Left Out
Media advisory: “Pandemic plans need to recognize not everyone is affected equally

Special thanks to Michael Shapcott, Director of Affordable Housing and Social Innovation at the Wellesley Institute for posting this information to the Social Determinants of Health Listserve.

WHO: Emergent Swine Flu "At a Turning Point"

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl says the swine flu outbreak is at a "turning point" as more countries confirm cases of swine flu. Visit the BBC for an updated map of confirmed cases around the world.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 25th - World Malaria Day

Malaria is a disease of poverty, and the struggle for health equity is a struggle against Malaria. Malaria is caused by a parasite transmitted by mosquito, but its etiology is also deeply social. Take a few minutes today to learn more about how to prevent this deadly disease: 10 Pictures ; WHO - Malaria ; Malaria Factsheet ; Q & A ; Roll Back Malaria ; The Lancet ; Global Health TV

Friday, April 24, 2009

Queen's Park Rally For Increased Hospital Funding

ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29th--11:30AM Rally at Queen's Park to Save Our Local Hospitals!

Thousands of people from cities and towns across Ontario facing major hospital cuts or closures are joining in solidarity to demand that Premier McGuinty protect our local hospitals. Hospital cuts place an increased burden on remaining hospitals and staff. For Ontario residents, this means longer waits, worse overcrowding, traveling further, higher infection rates, paying out of pocket, and lower levels of care. Across the province, people are mobilizing for increased funding for hospitals: click on the title for more information about mobilizations in your part of the province.

Honoring a Canadian Hero: The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson on Norman Bethune

Today's Globe and Mail features a brilliant article written by The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada, on the importance of honoring a Norman Bethune, a Canadian surgeon and humanitarian who developed the fist mobile blood transfusion unit while fighting alongside other Canadians and socialists during the Spanish Civil War.

Bethune is seen as a hero in China and Spain, but is largely unknown in Canada. As Clarkson points out, there are many Toronto connections in this story: Born in Northern Ontario, Bethune studied medicine at University of Toronto Medical School, "from which he graduated in 1916 in the same class as Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin...When he returned from Spain in June of 1937 to raise money for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil war, under the auspices of the Canadian Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy, he attracted a crowd of 5,000 in Toronto - and they marched with him from Union Station to Queen's Park...Norman Bethune is commemorated in Montreal, China and Spain. It's time for Toronto to show that he means something to us as Canadians today."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

[April 22nd - Toronto] Public Health and Social Responsibility


Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009, 1- 5 pm
(Light lunch available at noon)
Location: Massey College, 4 Devonshire Place (corner of Hoskin and Devonshire Place)

REGISTER NOW: (free registration) RSVP by Friday, April 17, 2009

- DR JACK MANDEL, the new Director of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health

  • DR KUE YOUNG, Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health --- Aboriginal Health
  • DR JAMES ORBINSKI, Professor, Medicine and Political Science --- Global Health
  • DR ABDULLAH DAAR, Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health --- Ethics of Public Health
  • JEANNINE BANACK, Assistant Professor, Dept of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation -- Advocacy in Public Health
  • DR GEOFF ANDERSON, Professor, Dept of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation -- Community Medicine and Student Leadership
  • SHANNON WELLS, Master's student, Chair, 2009 Walter Gordon Massey Symposium
See attached programs for more details.
We hope you can join us for an afternoon of stimulating and engaging discussion on public health!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

[April 21] The power of the public domain: Can improving access to information transform global health?

FREE PUBIC EVENT Presented by Open Medicine:
A panel discussion with: James Orbinski, Gavin Yamey & James Maskalyk

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Leslie Dan Pharmacy Building
6:30 pm University of Toronto
Free (Donations welcome) 144 College Street
Room B150

James Orbinski, MD, MA
James Orbinski is an associate professor at the University of Toronto and author of the national bestseller An Imperfect Offering. He was the International President of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) in 1999 when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and co-founded Dignitas International, an organization focused on community-based care and prevention of HIV in the developing world.

James Maskalyk, MD
James Maskalyk is an associate editor of Open Medicine. He practices emergency medicine and is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. He is the author of the newly published book Six Months in Sudan, which chronicles his humanitarian work with Médecins sans Frontières in 2007.

Gavin Yamey, MD
Gavin Yamey is a senior editor of PLoS Medicine and consulting editor to PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. He has written extensively on global health, and has helped to train medical editors at workshops in Barcelona and Addis Ababa. He is on the editorial board of Health and Human Rights and was recently awarded a 2009 Kaiser Foundation Mini-Fellowship in Global Health Reporting.

For more information, please visit . You can also follow Open or twitter (openmedicine) Please help us spread the word!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Medical Anthropology at the Intersections: Celebrating 50 Years of Interdisciplinarity

An International Conference of the Society for Medical Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association

September 24 - 27, 2009 at Yale University

As the discipline of medical anthropology reaches half a century of existence, it is time to celebrate both its accomplishments and its interdisciplinarity. With its 50-year-old foundation solidly in place, medical anthropology is currently expanding outward and interacting in many productive ways across disciplinary boundaries. The conference highlights thirteen areas where some of the most exciting interdisciplinary work is beginning to emerge in “new millennial” medical anthropology: Global Public Health; Mental Health; Science & Technology Studies; Genetics/Genomics; Bioethics; Public Policy; Occupational Science; Disability Studies; Gender/LGBT/Sexuality Studies; International & Area Studies; Medical History; Feminism & Technoscience; and Medicine/Primary Care.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4th: Over 100 Migrant Workers Arrested; Communities Demand Their Release

Please visit the website of No One is Illegal for updates:

April 4, 2009 - Executing massive and unprecedented US-style raids in East Toronto, Leamington, and Bradford, the Canada Border Services Agency has arrested and detained over 100 migrant workers across Southern Ontario.

Hundreds of families and friends are wondering right now why their loved ones have not returned from work. The hundreds of thousands of non-status people across Canada have woken up to a horrible day in Stephen Harper's Canada.

On early Thursday morning, enforcement officers stormed into three different businesses in Bradford and Markham where they arrested migrant workers. CBSA even followed workers to their homes throughout the GTA and surrounding area. In total 80 people were arrested. They were placed on GO buses, handcuffed and held immobile for hours.

"One of my relatives was arrested in the raid. She called me from jail this morning. She and her co-workers are terrified that they may be deported at any time," said Jonathan Canchela, chair of the Filipino Migrant Workers Movement- and member of Migrante-Ontario.

On the same day in Leamington, eight agricultural workers were arrested. The workers were traveling to the farm where they work with a contractor when they were pulled over and arrested.

"Canada's immigration policies systemiclly discriminate against the most marginalized members of our community. Instead of reguarlization, the government criminalizes, instead of addressing exploitative working and living conditions, they persecute migrant labourers instead of enhancing workplace protections they engage in these type of raids which send a message to migrant workers that if they exert their rights there will be reprisals" says Chris Ramsaroop of Justicia Migrant Workers.

Simultaneously over a dozen agricultural workers were arrested in East Toronto on the Danforth, some from their homes.

"The purpose of these raids is to heighten a climate of fear and insecurity in immigrant communities. These raids are part of Canada's revolving door immigration policy where workers are used and disposed of with little or no rights", says Mac Scott of the Law Union of Ontario.

"In this economic crisis, companies are hiring us to save money. In my case, I've no work permit. I need to send money for my children to go to school. That is why I have to work. There are so many like me in this country, more than a million. Why not a regularization program so we can pay taxes. Many of us are skilled and qualified and could help the country at the same time as we send the money back home", says Henry, who was arrested on Thursday and is presently in the Detention Centre.

Community groups are mobilizing broadly to demand the immediate release of the detainees and status for all people in Canada. For details on how to travel to the Immigration Centre and a document of people's rights if they're arrested at their workplace can be found at: Thousands of us, from immigrant communities across Southern Ontario, will be hitting the streets on May 2nd to demand an end to immigration raids, and justice, dignity and respect for all migrant workers.

For further information and breaking news, please contact
Mac Scott - Law Union of Ontario (416.999.6885)
Farrah Miranda - No One Is Illegal - Toronto (416.805.7489)
Chris Ramsaroop - Justicia for Migrant Workers (647.834.4932)
Marco Luciano - Migrante Ontario (647.205.5908)