International Conference Be-cause health 23 & 24 March 2023


For the French version, click here.

Thursday 23rd of March, 2 – 5:30 pm CET, online

Moderator: Omar Ba

  • 01:30 Opening
  • 02:00 Welcome speech (recording), Jean Van Wetter, Director Enabel
  • 02:10 Introduction / Conference rules, Omar Ba
  • 02:20 Keynote: Inequalities and stupidities in global public health (recording), Jayati Ghosh
    • The world was unprepared for the recent Covid-19 pandemic and remains unprepared for the next one. This is significantly related to inequalities, between and within countries but also reflects the inability of governments and societies to manage the finances and innovation required to ensure global public health. Our systems provide commercial incentives for private players that enable monopolies, supply shortages, and price-gouging of essential vaccines and drugs, even when the innovations are effectively publicly funded. This reflects the stupidity, not of private players (who gain hugely) or of governments who may be influenced by these private players, but of the public and of societies that are the main losers. It is time to end this stupidity.
  • 02:50 Introduction and presentation of the selection committee (presentation in French), Abdoulaye Sow, chair of the selection committee
  • 03:00 Break
  • 03:10 Introduction of the parallel sessions, Omar Ba
  • 03:15 Parallel sessions:
    • Interrogating myths and taboos in the UHC discourse: Amplifying evidence from the majority world
    • Unspoken Truths: Commercialisation of health undermines human rights
    • The opportunities and limitations of digital health: between optimism and pessimism
    • Coloniality and power imbalances in vaccine equity, programme evaluation, and health education
  • 04:15 Coffee break
  • 04:30 Parallel sessions:
    • The not so voluntary “voluntary family planning”? Reproductive coercion in past and present
    • Financial Justice for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response?
    • The choice of the selection committee: three additional presentations were selected.
      • Advancing publicness, regulating commercialisation of health systems: Lessons for global health from the COVID pandemic in India
      • Changing power equations for inclusive health – Experiences from five districts of West Bengal, India
      • Reflections on the definition of Medicalised Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (MFGM/C)
  • 5:30 Closing by Stefaan Van Bastelaere (chair Be-cause health steering committee)

Friday 24th of March, 2 – 5:30 pm CET, hybrid

Moderator: Omar Ba

  • 01:00 Doors open & welcome coffee (Enabel)
  • 01:30 Opening
  • 02:00 Welcome speech, Heidy Rombouts, Director DGD
  • 02:10 Yesterday’s wrap up, Abdoulaye Sow
  • 02:20 Plenary session: The elephant(s) in the room of Planetary Health, Davide Ziveri, Riddhi Patel & Calixto Suarez
    • Living in the Anthropocene is a starting point for rethinking the environmental-health nexus. The emerging field of Planetary Health acknowledges that health gains since the Great Acceleration in the second half of past century have been unfairly distributed (health inequities) and built at the expenses of the global ecosystem, the root cause of human health.
      Living in the thin layer of the biosphere, our current Western lifestyle is as risky as an “elephant in a china shop”. However, there is another elephant in the room: our conceptualisation of health and wellbeing profoundly shaped by the globalisation related ideologies, power dynamics, and practices.
      If “the climate crisis is a health crisis” (cf. WHO Director General’s tweet), we need to profoundly transform our pathways of health improvement to adapt to a warmer planet. A health paradigm change, as the Planetary Health proposal, could be inspired by traditional knowledge and indigenous radical diversity.
      For this reason, Davide Ziveri and Riddhi Patel, members of the Planetary Health working group of the Be-cause health platform, will be joined by Calixto Suarez Villafañe, a spiritual leader of the Arhuaco community of the Sierra Nevada, north of Colombia.
      Our special guest will share the wisdom of the Arhuaco people and their ancestral culture to remind us of the humility needed for taking care of nature as a living being, maintaining harmony between spiritual and physical dimensions, and preserving lands.
      Planetary Health is a key framework for collectively building a new vision and new practices to improve health. This meeting will join such a dialogue, thanks to indigenous voices, just saying, in the words of linguistics, “don’t think of an elephant”.
  • 03:00 Break
  • 03:30 Parallel sessions:
    • Race, Ethnicity and (Global) Public Health: Making the Blind Spots Visible (English only)
    • The early days of integrating mental health care into primary health care in Burundi
    • Decolonising Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) by programming from below. Challenges and ‘lessons learned’
  • 04 :30 Take home messages, an interactive session, Tamsin Rose & Abdoulaye Sow
  • 05:15 Closing speech, Caroline Gennez, Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation and of the Major Cities Policy
  • 05:30 Reception (live @ Enabel)