The International People’s Health Council (IPHC) is a worldwide coalition of people’s health initiatives and socially progressive groups and movements committed to working for the health and rights of disadvantaged people. The vision of the IPHC is to advance toward health for all — viewing health in the broad sense of physical, mental, social, economic, and environmental well being. If you want to learn more about IPHC, become part of the coalition, or communicate with the regional IPHC coordinator in your area, contact either David Werner at HealthWrights, or the global coordinator of IPHC, Maria Zuniga, at CISAS, Apartado 3267, Managua, Nicaragua (Fax: 505-2 661662; e-mail: <>).

IPHC Meeting in Nigeria took place on August 16, 1997

Dr. Abdulrahman Sambo, IPHC representative from Nigeria, reports that this meeting was very successful. The decision was made to form an IPHC Chapter in Nigeria, which will be legally registered as an NGO.

A report of this first IPHC meeting in Nigeria is now being prepared. It is exciting that Nigeria has set up its own branch of the IPHC and is moving forward into action. We hope other country representatives will follow suit.

With the recent crack-down by the Nigerian government on popular movements that defend the health of the environment and the people against powerful multinational interests, it is especially important that the IPHC help build grassroots bridges between activists in different sectors.

In Mexico IPHC and Center for Social Assistance plan meeting

Ricardo Loewe, IPHC coordinator from Latin America, has announced a “Seminar on the Quality of Medical Care” to be held in Tepoztlan, Mexico, February 22 to March 1, 1998. The objective will be to “share and analyze perspectives on the ethics and quality of medical care, especially to disadvantaged groups.” While most participants will be from Mexico, some will be from other countries.

IPHC Regional Meeting planned in Kerala

Dr. Ekbal, IPHC representative in India, is planning a regional meeting of the IPHC in the State of Kerala, India. The meeting will probably be held jointly by the IPHC and the People’s Science Movement, of which Dr. Ekbal is a leader.

A New Booklet from the Philippines: Understanding HIV and AIDS

by Michael Tan and Bernard Tomas. From the Health Action Information Network, 9 Cabanatuan Rd. Philam House 1104, Quezon City, Philippines. Fax: (63-20) 927-67-60

This excellent down-to-earth booklet takes a very human and enabling approach to informing people about HIV and AIDS. It makes clear that it is not the virus alone that causes the spread of AIDS, but rather the virus together with factors such as poverty, prejudice, and gender inequality. To overcome AIDS we must work toward a fairer, more caring society.

Increasing Public Interest in Our New Book, QUESTIONING THE SOLUTION

Since it first appeared in print early this year, Questioning the Solution, The Politics of Primary Health Care and Child Survival has been gaining increasing attention. It has already been reviewed by leaders in primary health care and social analysis from various corners of the world: including Vietnam, Australia, South Africa USA, and England. Here are examples from 2 reviews:

In the Journal of Primary Prevention, Victor Nell of the Human Sciences Research Council of the University of South Africa Research Unit says:

“What the book is about is not oral re-hydration: it is about power and duplicity, and the poor weapons that ordinary people have against the might and wealth of the powerful.
“But hope never goes away …. I would like nothing better than to believe, against the weight of history and reason, that a lucid and timely book may yet sow the seeds of a revolution. This volume is a strong candidate: it elegantly states the problem, and sketches the diversity of ways it has been addressed in a variety of settings over the past several decades. Whether or not it wins the battle against power and greed, this book is a powerful addition to the primary prevention library and to the teaching curriculum—for which I would strongly recommend it—across a range of courses, such as comprehensive community based health care in medical schools, community psychology, developmental studies, international politics, sociology, and macroeconomics.

Claudio Schuftan, who works in Vietnam and has himself written many groundbreaking articles on the politics of health, says:

“I could not agree more with the authors in that a need exists to launch a concerted global effort to consolidate popular movements that think globally and act locally. This by creating opportunities for popular pressure to demand the social transformations needed to counter the regressive social trends we are seeing.
“At the heart of the conclusions of the book is a call for a Quality of Life Revolution in which children will not only survive, but will be healthy in the fullest sense of well-being.
“Even people politically unsympathetic to the book’s political line will find it worth reading. Students will find endless inspiration.”