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PHM meetings-Trip report from Claudio to Buenos Aires and Santiago

6 Dec 2016
From November 14 to the 19th Claudio was in Buenos Aires representing PHM in the cuadriennial meeting of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Network (escr-net). The purpose of the meeting was to look back at the achievements/shortcomings and set the lines of work for the next four years. Representatives from HR organizations from over 40 countries were in attendance (not only right to health). Presentations and discussion were of high level and common ground was slowly reached. People feel the coming years will eventually be tougher given the political climate in the world. Accountability issues were very high in the list of recommendations and a summary of achievements will be circulated shortly highlights of which will be shared through phm-exchange in due time.

Taking advantage of his presence in Argentina, Claudio contacted the PHM focal point there, Carmen Baez. Carmen organized a PHM get together on November 17. Some 40 people attended and Claudio gave a presentation on PHM's position on UHC, a very hot topic right now in Argentina with a new right wing government. (photo attached). An update of PHM past and current activities and what we stand for was also presented. The discussion period centered on questions and commentaries related to UHC and on PHM. An invitation was made to participants to join the Argentina PHM Circle. Participants were directed to the PHM website for further information.

Also through Carmen's auspices a meeting was organized with the Dept of Nutrition of the University of Buenos Aires. They are one of 18 university departments in the country devoted to food sovereignty --a welcome surprise since no other country has the same to show. Claudio also met the nutrition students who are planting an organic garden in the patio of the university.

In Santiago, Claudio participated in a seminar discussing the incorporation of the right to health in the new constitution under preparation. He gave a presentation on the topic that elicited a lively discussion. He participated in the afternoon small group discussions with heavy participation of health sciences students. Claudio made a pitch to also incorporate the right to food and adequate nutrition in the new constitution. The presentation was telecasted for students in other campuses.

Claudio contacted the PHM focal point in Chile, Enrique Barilari, only to find that he was postoperatory of a very recent emergency abdominal surgery. He could thus not organize a PHM meeting for Claudio to participate in.

Instead, Claudio contacted a large community based health NGO, EPES, partially funded by the Lutheran church, who are doing fantastic work at the grassroots --literally work that we wish we would be doing at many PHM circles. EPES is well aware of PHM, receive the phm-exchange and are interested in signing an MOU with PHM.

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