The Comhlámh #FirstWeds conversation on 3rd March focused on ‘Just Health’ and was moderated by Niamh Rooney on behalf of the MU Dept. of International Development. The conversation gathered a panel including Dr Mike Ryan (WHO), Nadine Ferris France (Irish Forum for Global Health), Dr David Weakliam (Health Service Executive) and Robbie Lawlor (Activist/Access to Medicines Ireland).
The conversation was engaging and inspiring with calls for the sharing of patents and technologies for vaccines to enable scale-up of equitable production and access globally. Panellists reflected on lessons learned from past experience, for example, with HIV treatment and access; and lessons from the past year of the resilience of communities, the creativity and flexibility of community responses and positive examples and experience of solidarity in action. The need for reform in global health systems and services was discussed with a focus on the resources for just health. Mike Ryan called for a change to the business as usual model and encouraged global citizens to ‘constructively disrupt’ the status quo in pursuit of a better, more sustainable and equitable world.