African Leaders, Global Community Must Prioritize Health As Human Right To Ensure Access For All

allAfrica: Africa’s Health Challenge is a Human Rights Issue
Graça Machel, member of The Elders and founder of the Graça Machel Trust

“Access to health is a human right. … It follows that if people cannot live healthy lives or access the health services they need, then they cannot enjoy all their other human rights. And if policies, institutions, and systems restrict access to health care and prioritize profit over people, then that constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights. … These struggles are especially acute in Africa. Hundreds of millions of Africans are faced with the appalling choice between seeking life-saving medical care and putting food on their tables. This is a matter for outrage. It reflects a collective lack of political commitment to health across our continent. … Universal health coverage is rooted in equity and rights and is therefore a cause that is near and dear to The Elders. … African political leaders, and indeed leaders globally, need to place health as a priority, and confront the powerful vested interests of private medicine and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure access is affordable for all…” (12/18).