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Health as a Human Right

This page updated on-line at http://www.africafocus.org/intro-health.php.

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Talking Points on Health as a Human Right

We All Must Respond to Ebola
Statement by US-Africa Network, September 19, 2014

Ebola center in Sierra Leone. National and international efforts to stop the spread of the epidemic have been insufficient to contain it. Photo credits: ©EC/ECHO/Cyprien Fabre.

Recent bulletins on Health

May 12, 2020  USA/Global: Contesting Health and Workers' Rights http://www.africafocus.org/docs20/rights2005.php
    The global Covid-19 pandemic has made clear that the right to health is not just an aspirational value. Suddenly, it’s a matter of desperate self-interest for everyone, except, perhaps, those insulated by enormous wealth. The same is true for the rights of workers in the United States and worldwide: their work and their consumer power are indispensable to a global economy facing recession. The current crisis thus presents an opportunity to expand the recognition and exercise of these pivotal rights, accelerating efforts that were already underway before the virus hit. But all too predictably, these efforts are running up against stubborn resistance from forces that benefit (or think they benefit) from the status quo.

April 27, 2020  Africa/Global: Pandemic Mobilization amid High Vulnerability http://www.africafocus.org/docs20/covid19d.php
    At a continental level as well as in almost all African countries, African institutions mobilized quickly in response to the pandemic. In most countries, the pandemic response so far has been encouraging in terms of buying time by flattening the curve, although implementation of lockdowns has been marred by human rights abuses by security forces and insufficient funding for support to those already economically vulnerable to loss of income. A minority of countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Cameroon, and Madagascar, seem to be emulating the denial and delay pattern previously followed by the United States and the United Kingdom.

April 13, 2020  Mozambique: Cumulative Shocks, Local and Global http://www.africafocus.org/docs20/moz2004.php
    As of April 10, Mozambique had registered only 20 cases of covid-19, and was carrying out an active program of screening, testing, and contact tracing for all entering the country. The success of containment was still fragile, however. In addition, 10 of the tests were traced to a worker at the multinational natural gas company Total in Cabo Delgado province, in the far northeast. In that same province, reminding us that the pandemic comes on the top of other urgent crises, jihadist insurgents are now expanding their offensive and extending their attacks inland.

April 2, 2020  Africa: Covid-19, New Africa-Specific Links http://www.africafocus.org/docs20/covid19c.php
    This AfricaFocus Bulletin is very short, with no long articles, but only a selection of new links that I think very useful and important to share widely. Many of you have shared previous Bulletins, and I hope that you will also share this (and/or the links you find most useful).

March 26, 2020  Africa/Global: Coronavirus Reflections and Updates http://www.africafocus.org/docs20/covid19b.php
    Like the climate crisis and economic inequality, the COVID-19 pandemic may not at first glance seem to be a “foreign policy” issue. But it powerfully points up the need to forge a global perspective – and global alliances – without delay. Progressives must lead the way, and the coronavirus is an immediate opportunity to change the way we think to always recognize domestic and global realities as intertwined. Both self-interest and moral values make this imperative.

March 16, 2020  Africa/Global: Coronavirus Updates http://www.africafocus.org/docs20/covid19.php
    On March 15, President Ramaphosa of South Africa declared coronavirus to be a national disaster, and a Science magazine report from Cape Town called the virus a “ticking timebomb” for the African continent. African countries gained a window of opportunity in which to hold off the onslaught, thanks to their relative isolation from international air traffic and their smart preparations based on experience with Ebola. But it appears this window may now be closing.

October 28, 2019  Africa/Global: Untapped Potential for Africa Climate Actions http://www.africafocus.org/docs19/clim1910.php
    From off-grid solar home systems (SHS) to utility-scale solar and wind installations, the potential for major advances in use of renewable energy is growing rapidly on the African continent. If this potential is materialized at a faster pace, Africa countries could contribute significantly to mitigating the global climate crisis. This would also reduce the ongoing damage to the environmental health of their citizens, whether from kerosene lamps in rural areas or massive coal pollution in South Africa.

September 12, 2019  South Africa: Spotlight on Gender-based Violence http://www.africafocus.org/docs19/sa1909b.php
    “Our nation is in mourning and pain. Over the past few days, our country has been deeply traumatised by acts of extreme violence perpetrated by men against women and children. These acts of violence have made us doubt the very foundation of our democratic society, our commitment to human rights and human dignity, to equality, to peace and to justice. … Violence against women has become more than a national crisis. It is a crime against our common humanity.” - President Cyril Ramaphosa, September 5, 2019

July 15, 2019  Africa/Global: New Horizon for Off-Grid Solar http://www.africafocus.org/docs19/sol1907.php
    With their most dramatic success in Kenya and other East African countries, off-grid solar home systems are expanding rapidly, reaching more consumers and extending beyond basic lighting and mobile-phone charging, now even offering bundles with solar-powered flat-screen televisions. Costs continue to drop precipitously, and, according to Beyond Fire, a new report released at the end of May, the next new horizon may be in the kitchen, with solar-energy-powered cooking.

July 2, 2019  Kenya/Global: Big Victory for #SaveLamu/#deCOALonize http://www.africafocus.org/docs19/coal1907.php
    “On Wednesday 26th June, Kenya’s National Environment Tribunal (NET) made a landmark ruling that set aside the license granted to Amu Power Company Ltd by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to construct a 1050MW coal plant in Lamu. The tribunal noted that … there was no evidence that Amu Power properly informed residents of Lamu of the impacts that the coal plant project would have on their environment, livelihood or health.” - #deCOALonize press release, June 29, 2019

June 19, 2019  AfricaFocus Updates: Sudan, Ebola, Mozambique http://www.africafocus.org/docs19/upd1906.php
    AfricaFocus Bulletin normally contains material on one topic only, as in bulletins earlier this year on Mozambique in January and March, Sudan in March , and Ebola in April. Each provides substantive excepts from current material as well as links for ongoing coverage.

April 15, 2019  Africa/Global: Ebola Resurgence Tests Global Response http://www.africafocus.org/docs19/eb1904.php
    “Despite a worsening Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization on Friday again decided not to declare the outbreak a global health emergency. While expressing ´deep concern´ about the number of increasing cases in parts of Congo, and the potential risk of the disease spreading to neighboring countries, the W.H.O. said the epidemic did not meet the criteria for declaring an international public health emergency.” - New York Times, April 12, 2019 (http://tinyurl.com/y5ochm2v)

Complete listing of bulletins on health, 2003-present

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