Wemos Foundation, Netherlands
Wemos Foundation (Wemos) was created in November 1981 as a non-profit Foundation housed in The Netherlands. It strives to create a world in which everyone has the optimal health to which they have a right. This is why Wemos supports national health systems which work towards the structural improvement of people's health in developing countries. Wemos works together with organizations in Kenya, Zambia, Bolivia and Bangladesh to lobby their governments for such things as better health budgeting or closer supervision of drug tests. Most Wemos supporters are tropical doctors and medical students, and Wemos directs its campaigning and communications principally towards these groups. Wemos also works to mobilize certain groups of health care providers, such as pharmacists within the framework of the Wemos Medicines Project. Wemos’ campaign and lobby activities are always aimed at changing the minds of national and international policymakers, and this means that Wemos is less well known to the general public.
Wemos sends no medicines or doctors, but works towards the structural improvement of health in developing countries. Rather than providing one-off access to Western drugs, for instance, Wemos works to make medicines in developing countries lastingly affordable. This way, more of the money earmarked for healthcare improvement can be invested in local hospitals and in health worker salaries. It also means that food dumping is curtailed, which produces corresponding improvements in the local diet. Wemos works to effect policy changes that have a beneficial effect on the health of people in developing countries. We do this by lobbying national and international policy makers in cooperation with organizations in developing countries. Its most important strategies are, therefore, advocacy, cooperation with organizations in developing countries, communications and campaigning.
Links to the health workforce crisis
Wemos seeks to stimulate donors and governments to find solutions to staffing problems and "brain drain". Healthcare places heavy demands on health workers. Which is why many opt for a career abroad or in another sector. The consequence is that patients are left unaided due to the lack of even basic care facilities. On World Health Day 2009, Wemos joined forces with Cordaid, Oxfam Novib, AMREF Flying Doctors and the International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organizations to organize an event focusing on the worldwide shortage of health workers. Wemos urges donors and the International Monetary Fund to increase funding for public health workers. It does this together with partners in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Kenya and Zambia. Wemos does not advocate for isolated solutions for health workers, but for solutions as part of an overall improvement of the health system. In the coming years, Wemos will focus on strengthening the cooperation with other NGOs, relevant experts and international networks in order to jointly advocate for solving the HRH crisis. Our advocacy work will be geared towards the development and promotion of concrete Dutch policy options and actions in the area of Human Resources for Health.