"This Forum belongs to you," said Dr Bruce-Eshaya-Chauvin, Head of Health and Care Department of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), during the opening speech of the 2008 Health and Care Forum. The key objective of the meeting, held in Geneva last 14-16 May, was to help support the activities of all the National Societies and improve the services provided.
This year the Forum celebrated an important recurrence: the 50 anniversary of the Alma Ata Declaration, which represented a major milestone of the twentieth century in the field of public health, and identified primary health care as the key to the attainment of the goal of Health for All. In other words, with this declaration health become a fundamental human right.
Health is an increasingly important driver for poverty reduction; such was the red line of the Forum. But in spite of the boom in funding and the increasing PPPs (Public Private Partnerships), health systems still fail to reach those with greatest need. "More than 1 million people do not have access to clean water and sanitation, 10 million women and children lack of basic health interventions and 1 billion people suffer from the consequences of neglected Tropical Diseases," highlighted Dr. Margaret Chan, World Health Organization Director General.
During the three day Forum, representatives from all the Red Cross National Societies discussed a wide range of issues, going from the revitalization of Primary Health Care to the link between health, democracy and citizenship, from the integration of social care with health to the monitoring and evaluation framework.
As partner of the IFRC since 2007, ICVolunteers helped the Forum with six interpreters (English, French, Spanish and Italian), ten reporters, five welcome and room supervisors and one translator of documents from English to French.
See below to read the final reports produced by the ten ICV reporters. The latter attended sessions and working groups, helped moderators and participants taking notes and drafting summaries and, at the end, produced these reports, which represent a precious documentation of the Forum works.