There was an excellent series of articles, France: nation and world, published in The Lancet last year. The series looks at different aspects of the realization of the right to health for its citizens, and the role of France in the realm of global health. As the two founders of the IMAXI Cooperative, neither French by birth, are only alive today due to the excellence of the public health services of France, this Lancet series of papers rang a bell very close to home.
However, over the last 15 years we have witnessed the lack of participation of our comrades from Francophone communities in various global health governance bodies, including UN agencies and programmes. We have also rarely heard from the French government about how its excellent model of public health could be applied to other countries outside its ‘sphere of influence’ in its ex-colonies. Although IMAXI is a French registered NGO, our attempts to connect with the French delegates to discuss its role in global health have not been fruitful.
With the recent election of President Macron, and the anticipated success of his En Marche movement to win a majority in the French parliament next weekend, there is now a possibility that health activists can better engage with the new government in innovative and effective ways to advance our shared values, including realizing the right to health for everyone, everywhere.
Over the next few weeks, we will be re-posting some of the articles from the series in The Lancet. We hope they serve to both inform and to inspire others to join with us in a new ‘working’ group to explore ways in which we can turn this new political reality in France into more health justice for everyone. Contact us for more information.
We begin with the introduction to the series that provides both background and hope.