Interview with Ricardo Baptista Leite

Dr. Ricardo Baptista Leite is a Medical Doctor and Member of the Portuguese Parliament, where he sits on the Health Committee and on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Q: How can we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] and what contribution can cities deliver in regard to climate change?

LBL: In my city, Cacaes, we started to adapt the global indicators to the local level, and in that sense, we are advanced. The SDGs are a great baseline that show where we should be, but we have to be ambitious and go way beyond, but especially in the developed world. They should rather be perceived as the minimums we have to achieve. Climate change is no different to this: if we go down to the specifics, there are always angles that could and should be improved, lowering our carbon footprint. This influences multiple determinants. The SDGs give us a holistic approach, and we can use this great tool for society, as well as for the individuals, while leaving no one behind.

When this assessment is made wholeheartedly, we can push the public, the private and the social in the same direction. Continue reading

Interview with Dr. Michaela Told

JP: Does being in the NGO sector or in another health sector besides the Academia improve your career in Global Health?

MT: I think it is actually important to be one of these other actors, because Global Health, as we said, nowadays requires diplomacy: you cannot do without the other actors, as they play an important role, the NGOs included. NGOs have a mandate which governments cannot address, and even though in the health sector the governments are the negotiators, they also rely on information obtained from other actors, which is an entry point for the NGOs. This is how they influence the agenda, but it is important that it’s done wisely and appropriately.

If one came in with an ideological mindset, it might not work as much as the appropriate language would. On the other hand, good advocacy NGO experts can go as far as to suggest a language that is being used while negotiating. Additionally, the material provided by the NGOs to the member states could represent a lot of help, because the member states have a lot to prepare as they have so many agendas. Continue reading

Interview with Prof. Ilona Kickbusch

After listening to the high-level experts’ opinions in Closing Plenary carefully, some Young Gasteiners were eager to experience more about European and Global health politics and had a great chance to interview Prof. Ilona Kickbusch, Director of the Global Health Centre and adjunct professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.


MARIUS: In your speech at the closing plenary, you detailed what Germany has done to position itself as a leader in global health and shared valuable insight on inter-ministerial collaboration, in particular. What do you consider to be some lessons that Germany has learned in this process that can be taken up by other Member States? Continue reading

Interview with Prof. Jeffrey Lazarus, session Nobody left behind

Prof. Lazarus’ decade-long career as a health systems, HIV and viral hepatitis expert at WHO’s Regional Office for Europe was followed by three years at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He now serves as the Board Chair of AFEW International, a board member of the EASL International Liver Foundation, a steering committee member of the European Joint Action on HIV and Coinfections, as editor of Hepatology, Medicine and Policy and a member of the BioMed Central Editorial Advisory Group. He is the author of more than 200 publications.

Professor Lazarus is an affiliated professor at CHIP, WHO Collaborating Centre on HIV and Viral Hepatitis at Rigshospitalet, the University of Copenhagen, and an associated researcher at ISGlobal, Hospital Clínic, University of Barcelona.

Q: Mr. Lazarus, can you please tell us what is your position and main occupation?

JL: I am a researcher specialized on infectious diseases, specifically in HIV and viral HEP C and health systems. I work at the university of Copenhagen but also for the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal). Continue reading

Interview with Clive Needle

“And only if we can listen to each other and understand and learn from each other, bring those things together, then we will make the societal progress to tackle the health inequalities.”

Interview with Clive Needle, Senior Policy Advisor, EuroHealtNet
after the Forum on Health Inequalities with the lecture of Sir Michael Marmot

We are talking after a very important session on the topic that has been discussed for years – health inequalities. However, despite the discussions, the health inequalities are growing around the Europe. What do you think is the reason, and what can we do about it?

CN: It is a mix of factors, it is obviously a complex set of issues that you put together, it is like building a jigsaw. A part of that is lack of political will, but I think it is too easy to put all the blame on the politicians. Political is personal, which means we can all do something, we should all take the responsibility to break down that complexity.

Continue reading