On September 6th 2019, Wemos will organize the congress ‘Global health: everybody’s concern, everybody’s business’.

With an enticing programme with various (inter)national speakers, we will pinpoint current trends in global health, especially focussing on the recent power shifts and the stronger influence of the private sector on health systems. Whose concern is global health, if it is truly everybody’s business? We will take the opportunity to hold a constructive dialogue with policy makers, health professionals, NGOs, critical thinkers and students in the field of Global Health, identifying problems and challenges, and seeking solutions – together.

*Please visit COMM’s website to plan your route.



Our congress attendees will also have the opportunity to visit the COMM Museum before the start of the congress on September 6th 2019.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at



Are you a student and interested in attending the congress? Please send an email to and we will contact you as soon as possible.



Our congress has been accredited by the Accreditatie Bureau Algemene Nascholing (ABAN) with 4 points. For more information, see here (Dutch).


12:30 – 13:00                      Doors open – registration, coffee/tea

13:00 – 13:10                      Opening by Wemos director Mariëlle Bemelmans

13:10 – 14:10                      Keynote speakers Brigit Toebes & Denise Namburete

14:10 – 14:30                      Coffee break

14:30 – 15:30                      1st round of breakout sessions (see below)

15:50 – 16:50                      2nd round of breakout sessions

16:50 – 18:00                      Drinks

Breakout sessions

After the plenary session, you can attend two breakout sessions to engage in more in-depth discussions on urgent topics related to our programmes. All sessions will be held twice, so you can attend two breakout sessions. You can pick the sessions of your choice during registration before the start of the congress. More speakers will be confirmed soon, so please check this page for updates!

Keynote speakers

Brigit Toebes

Professor Brigit Toebes is a legal scholar with more than twenty years of experience in the field of health and human rights. She holds the Chair ‘Health Law in a Global Context’ of the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. In her academic work, she has focused on the interface between law, human rights and health protection. She has published extensively in these fields and has served as a consultant to WHO and the Netherlands Ministry of Health, amongst others. She is a founding member of the Global Health Law Groningen Research Centre and the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health. During the first part of the congress, she will elaborate on the meaning of health as a human right and how current power shifts in global health affect accountability.

Denise Namburete

Denise Namburete is a Mozambican communications specialist who devoted her 15-year career to enabling Social and Behavioural Change (SBC) through communication. She founded and directed various research – and advocacy projects on international and national scale and is currently the executive director of N’weti, a Non-governmental Organization (NGO) for Health and Social Development Communication based in Maputo, Mozambique. Denise will share some personal experiences and elaborate on the challenges she encounters with her lobby and advocacy work in the Mozambican context, specifically concerning inequities in health.


Hans Hogerzeil

Hans Hogerzeil is emeritus professor of Global Health at the University of Groningen and co-chair of the Lancet Commission on Essential Medicines. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of the Access to Medicine Foundation and the Chairman of its Expert Review Committee. He has worked as WHO Director on both Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies as well as on the Medicine Policies and Standards program, where he collaborated frequently with Health Action International (HAI). Since 2015, he is a research partner in HAI’s ACCISS study (Addressing the Challenges of Insulin Sources and Supply).

Wilbert Bannenberg

Wilbert Bannenberg is a Public Health physician with over 30 years of experience in improving pharmaceutical systems in developing countries. He has completed more than 140 missions to lower- and middle income countries related to access to medicines, regulatory support or national medicines policy as a Public Health consultant and worked amongst others for WHO and HERA. He was one of the founders of Wemos and is still actively involved with the Access to Medicines programme. He currently holds de Chair of the Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation (Farma ter Verantwoording).

Ella Weggen

Ella Weggen works as a global health advocate at Wemos, specifically on the programme of Access to Medicines. Within this theme, she advocates equitable access to affordable medicines, aiming to raise awareness among national and European politicians and policy makers about the high prices of medicines and added therapeutic value of new medicines. She has extended experience in influencing policy of the Netherlands, the EU and the WHO on global health issues, as she worked at the European Parliament in Brussels, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (intern) and the Political Affairs Department of Amnesty International in the Netherlands.

Tim Reed

Dr. Tim Reed holds a PhD from the University of Sussex in the politics of medicines regulation, has been published in numerous books and peer-reviewed journals, and lectures in health policy, medicines and development. He has over 30 years of experience in NGO management and was appointed Executive Director shortly after joining Health Action International (HAI) in 2005. He has been instrumental in restructuring HAI’s governance and accountability mechanisms and currently manages the Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA), HSA (Health Systems Advocacy Partnership), and the Global Snakebite Initiative.

Anna Marriott

Anna Marriott is the Public Services Policy Manager for Oxfam Great Britain and lead for Oxfam’s health policy work internationally. She has written and published a number of reports on Oxfam’s focus areas of healthcare financing and delivery. At present, she guides a critical multi-country research and advocacy on the Commercialisation of European Health Aid. She holds a masters’ degree in Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. Prior to Oxfam, Anna has worked at the Institute for Development Studies in the UK as well as a consultant for a number of UN and development agencies.

Barbara Fienieg

Barbara works as a global health advocate at Wemos. She is part of the Finance for Health team, where she focusses on critical issues in effective Development Assistance for Health (DAH). Publicly backed commercial actors in health and public revenue raising for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) are among those issues. Previously, she worked for the Academic Medical Centre (AMC), as researcher and policy advisor, and at the Netherlands School of Public and Occupational Health as a trainer/consultant. Earlier (1999-2003), Barbara had also worked for Wemos as coordinator for the Baby Food Program within the International Baby Food Action Network.

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Mariska Meurs

Mariska Meurs works as a global health advocate at Wemos. She has extensive experience with policy analysis and advocacy in relation to finance for health, the role of global (health) actors and the linkages between health and macroeconomic policies. She was the co-initiator and the first president of the Geneva Global Health Hub (G2H2) and actively collaborates in several networks within as well as outside the health sector. Previously, Mariska worked as a policy advisor on socioeconomic policies at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and on reproductive health policies at the UN Regional Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Corinne Hinlopen

Corinne Hinlopen works as a global health policy researcher at Wemos, focusing on areas like human resources for health policies, health system strengthening and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She is currently actively engaged in Wemos’ Health Systems Advocacy Partnership. Corinne has worked amongst others for the GGD (Dutch Community Health Services), the Netherlands Nutrition Centre, the Dutch Heart Foundation and the Dutch Cancer Society (DCS) which has given her extensive knowledge of the Dutch public health sector and its position in the European and Global context.

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Myria Koutsoumpa

Myria Koutsoumpa studied dentistry at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece, and after that worked as a clinician in public hospitals and private practices in Greece and the National Health Service in Scotland. She changed her career to obtain a master’s degree in Global Health from Maastricht University, where she specialized in global health policy, economics and management. She is now a global health advocate at Wemos, where she conducts research on health policy, financing for health and human resources for health.

Stijntje Dijk

Stijntje Dijk served as the Medical Education Director for the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, representing 1.3 million medical students worldwide. She has voiced the experiences and concerns of medical students on preparing the future health workforce, in platforms global platforms including the World Health Assemblies, Joint Action for Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting, and the World Summit on Social Accountability in Medical Schools. Stijntje is currently a final year medical student and a student in Health Economics, Policy and Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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Francis Bolle

Francis Bolle works as a senior advisor public affair for the Professional Association for Nurses and Nursing assistants (V&VN). Within this role, Francis maintains the relationships and networks with politicians with regards to strategic policy questions concerning nursing. She strives to ensure that voices of nurses and nurse assistants are heard within political processes. She also has extensive experience in giving capacity building trainings on lobby and advocacy, where she aims to connect people and create new opportunities. Francis has a background as a practicing nurse and obtained a degree in Health Sciences at the University of Maastricht.

Joost van der Meer

Joost van der Meer is a Medical Doctor and an Epidemiologist, and currently works as an independent consultant in Public Health and Humanitarian Aid. Joost was involved with Wemos from 1983 till 1998 and has played a big role in initiating our lobbying work on Medicine policies. He fulfilled several positions at Doctors Without Borders, both on the field as well as in their office in Amsterdam. Moreover, he has been the director of Aids Foundation East-West, an organisation focusing on HIV, TB and other Infectious diseases in the East of Europe and Central Asia.

Amanda Banda

Amanda Banda works as a global health advocate at Wemos in the East and Southern African region. She focuses on the programmes Human Resources for Health and Finance for Health. Amanda has over 10 years of experience influencing national governments in Africa, global health institutes and donors. Prior to joining Wemos, she was part of the Health Politics team of MSF as HIV Advocacy Coordinator in charge of the African region. She is currently co-chair of the Health Workers For All Coalition, a collaboration between ACHEST, MMI, MSF and Wemos that was launched in 2018.

David Patterson

David Patterson has over 20 years of experience in international health, law and development. His academic qualifications include masters’ degrees in Law (McGill), and public policy & management (London – SOAS) and post-graduate degrees in health (Montreal), adult education, and program evaluation (IPDET – World Bank & Carleton U). In 1993, he co-founded the (then) HIV/AIDS Legal Network and later, as Director of International Programs, created the Network’s HIV and law programs in the Caribbean and in East Africa. From 2009-2018 he led the health law program of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). He currently works as a consultant from The Hague, Netherlands.

David Patterson

Ibadat Dhillon

Ibadat Dhillon is a technical officer in the Department of Health Workforce at the World Health Organization. Ibadat’s work has focused on human resources for health and health systems at the national and global levels. He has previously served as a health advisor for the Danish government, the Irish government, and the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention.