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Havana, Cuba: The Struggle for Health, in the Shadow of the Hegemon (4-13 Nov 09)


Wed, 11/04/2009 to Fri, 11/13/2009

The International People’s Health University (IPHU) and People’s Health Movement (PHM) in association with the Medical University of Cuba, the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Cuenca (Ecuador) and the Global Forum on Health Research

Are pleased to announce


A short training course from 4-13 November 2009 In Havana, Cuba


Announcement Brochure:



  • Apply on-line to participate here (in Spanish)
  • If on-line access is difficult a downloadable application form is available here (in Spanish).  Download, print out and complete and return to iphu-organizers[at]  


  • More about the program for Havana.


  • Applications close 4 October, 2009
  • Notification of outcome of applications: from 11 October 2009
  • All the applicants will be advised regarding the outcome of their application.


The course will be held at: University of Medical Sciences of Havana


The language of the course will be Spanish

About IPHU

IPHU short courses enable younger health activists to make new connections, share experiences and study together. They aim to strengthen the global network of people’s health activists.

This course will provide a unique opportunity to learn from the experience of the Cuban revolution in creating the conditions for Health For All.

Who is the course planned for?

  • Younger health activists and practitioners working on the issues of health, gender and human rights and particularly including those involved in the People’s Health Movement
  • Applicants should have a university degree or equivalent and be fluent in Spanish
  • Priority, with respect to enrolment, will be given to:
          • people with a track record as health activists within the PHM;
          • younger people motivated to get involved in People’s Health Movement (PHM);
          • primary health care and public health practitioners;
  • A total of 50 participants are expected
  • The enrolment policy aims to achieve:
          • geographical mix
          • gender balance
          • diversity of involvements and
          • diversity of skills, interests and experience.


The curriculum includes: ­

  • the struggle for health in Cuba and Latin America: challenges, strategy and practice, achievements and new directions; ­
  • working with communities and with grass roots people’s organizations;
  • social determinants of health: poverty, oppression and hierarchy; alienation and exclusion; racism, sexism and materialism);
  • comprehensive primary health care: achievements, challenges, lessons and new directions; ­
  • the political economy of health: imperialism and globalisation, the international financial institutions and the UN system; local issues and global pressures;
  • health system strengthening; the politics of health policy;
  • the right to health: principles, achievements and new directions;
  • people’s health and the environmental struggle;
  • research: part of the problem and part of the solution. 

The IPHU approach to learning ­

  • Start with the struggle for health
  • Teach and learn in partnership
  • Knowledge is imbued with purpose
  • New ideas must be used
  • Activism is an ethical commitment
  • Learn new ways of being (as well as new facts and theories)
  • Refresh, enquire, research
  • Nurture leadership: judgment which inspires confidence; integrity which creates trust and the courage to take risks­
  • Learn to listen to learn; learn to teach; teach to learn
  • Steer our own learning; grow the skills and habits of life long learning
  • Build our community of activists
  • Stay with the struggle for health

The course will involve: pre-reading; lectures, small group discussions, debates, workshops and follow up study. Resource materials will take the form of hard copy readings, lecture notes and websites. More on the IPHU Vision Background to IPHU 


Faculty members will include activist academics and experienced practitioners (from Cuba, from the region and beyond).


Tuition fees, which are mandatory for non-Cubans, are USD30. A limited number of scholarships for accommodation and travel are available. The application for scholarship support is included on the application form for participation.


If you are planning on participating you should commence your visa application now - before you have been advised of your selection.  The visa application can take up to one month.  


Prospective students should visit the IPHU website and review all of the pages linked from the Library Page (which form the core of the material for formal presentation and discussion). Students should come prepared to comment on the experience of their own countries in relation to the issues covered in the different topics.

Participants from beyond Cuba are advised to study the history of the Cuban revolution and the 50 year blockade and familiarise themselves with Cuban health policy and achievements.  More background here

The program for all of the IPHU Short Courses is based on the People's Charter for Health (PCH). We will explore the meaning of the PCH; analyse the challenges it presents and develop resources and strategies for the struggle for Health For All. Participants must ensure that they are familar with the Charter. Try the PCH Quiz as a way of working systematically through the PCH and reflecting upon what we need to know in order to realise the vision.

Academic accreditation

IPHU short course participants who are enrolled in an MPH and request accreditation of their training as part of their MPH will be required to submit assignments for assessment and will be provided with formal certification regarding the standard of the program and of their achievement. You should notify course organisers if you wish to take up this opportunity.

More information

For more information and inquiries, write to iphu-organizers[at]