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ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.
Home » ASPHER Comment on the Physicians for Human Rights - Israel Statement of 7 Apr 2020


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ASPHER Comment on the Physicians for Human Rights - Israel Statement of 7 Apr 2020

On 7 April 2020, on behalf of the Association, ASPHER President John Middleton signed the Statement of the Physicians for Human Rights - Israel.

At such a critical moment, ASPHER calls to find innovative ways to foster collaborations between Israelis and Palestinians and to help Gaza and the West Bank to combat COVID-19. Where medication and equipment are unavailable because of budgetary shortages of the Palestinian health system, Israel and the international community should help ensure the supply of missing materials, to the greatest extent possible. Moreover, all sides should help to ensure that there is a steady supply of electricity and fuel so that hospitals and the general population can maintain reasonable levels of hygiene.

Health risks associated with Infectious diseases know no borders. Yet, within and between countries different impacts exist according to social, economic and political determinants of health. Only global and regional collaborations can stop a pandemic. This is true particularly in a region such as the Middle East. While during normal times hundreds of thousands of people cross daily between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a barrier to regional collaboration. Important initiatives such as those of the Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillence (MECIDS - see here: other bottom up collaborative work between Palestianian and Israeli researchers should be encouraged. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the fundamental role of the public health sector, as well as the inevitability of regional and global collaboration.

We ask that ASPHER Members Institutions consider signing below to lend their individual support to the PHRI Statement with the ASPHER comment. If you wish to do so, please contact the ASPHER Secretariat at

John Middleton
ASPHER President

Jose M. Martin-Moreno
Chair, ASPHER Honours Committee
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
University of Valencia, Spain

Nadav Davidovitch 
School of Public Health
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Beer Sheva, Israel

Manfred S Green
Director International MPH Program
University of Haifa, Israel

Henrique Barros
Institute of Public Health
University of Porto, Portugal

Robert Buckingham
University of Michigan-Flint, United States

Laurent Chambaud
EHESP School of Public Health
Rennes/Paris, France

Katarzyna Czabanowska
Department of International Health
Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Henrique Lopes
Catholic University, Lisbon, Portugal

Mary Codd
University College Dublin, Ireland

Nino Künzli
Swiss School of Public Health+
Zürich, Switzerland

Karolina Lybomirova
Vice Dean
Faculty of Public Health
Medical University - Sofia, Bulgaria

Raj S Bhopal
Emeritus Professor of Public Health
Edinburgh Migration, Ethnicity and Health Research Group,
Usher Institute, Medical School, University of Edinburgh