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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

October 4, 2016  West Africa/Europe: Toxic Fuels for African Markets http://www.africafocus.org/docs16/dd1610.php
    European commodity trading companies in Switzerland, using petroleum 'blending' plants in the Netherlands and Belgium, are exporting toxic fuels to Africa in large quantity. "Their business model," according to a new report from the Swiss organization Public Eye, "relies on an illegitimate strategy of deliberately lowering the quality of fuels in order to increase their profits. Using a common industry practice called blending, trading companies mix cheap but toxic intermediate petroleum products to make what the industry calls 'African Quality' fuels."

July 26, 2016  Africa/Global: Not Yet "End of AIDS" http://www.africafocus.org/docs16/hiv1607.php
    At the 21st International AIDS Conference in South Africa last week, "optimism faded as delegates arrived to news that donor countries had reduced global HIV funding by more than $1 billion from 2014 to 2015. ... Nearly 20 million people are [still] in need of antiretroviral therapy. [and] nearly half of the $44 billion cost could be unfunded between 2016 and 2020." - Washington Post, July 25, 2016

June 30, 2016  Africa/Global: Air Pollution Threats & Solutions http://www.africafocus.org/docs16/air1606.php
    "Around 6.5 million deaths are attributed each year to poor air quality, making this the world’s fourth-largest threat to human health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking. Without changes to the way that the world produces and uses energy, the ruinous toll from air pollution on human life is set to rise. ... Household air pollution, closely linked to a lack of access to modern energy services, causes around half a million premature deaths annually in sub-Saharan Africa, where four-fifths of the population rely on the traditional use of solid biomass for cooking, and candles and kerosene lamps are extensively used for indoor lighting." - International Energy Agency (IEA)

June 22, 2016  Africa/Global: "Stop the Bleeding" Updates http://www.africafocus.org/docs16/stb1606.php
    "A new report by Tax Justice Network-Africa and ActionAid says that East African countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda) are losing approximately $2 billion a year of revenue each year by granting tax incentives to multinational companies. ... According to Yaekob Metena, ActionAid Tanzania's country director, 'Though there have been improvements in recent years in addressing the issue, governments in East Africa continue to give away domestic resources in tax incentives, funds that could pay for the regions' education and health needs and meeting the development objectives.'"

June 13, 2016  Africa/Global: Don't Be a Fossil Fool http://www.africafocus.org/docs16/clim1606.php
    From solar TVs in rural Kenya to modular concrete for windmills in Iowa, the pace of technological advance continues to accelerate, making renewable fuels more and more competitive with fossil fuels. Technology alone will not be sufficient, of course. But these trends, combined with worldwide climate activism and increasing awareness among the public and government policy-makers, are leading even establishment analysts to conclude that, in the words of the Financial Times, "fossil fuel producers face a future of slow and steady decline."

October 28, 2015  South Sudan: Hard-Hitting Report from African Union http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/ssud1510.php
    "Based on its inquiry, the Commission finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that acts of murder, rape and sexual violence, torture and other inhumane acts of comparable gravity, outrages upon personal dignity, targeting of civilian objects and protected property, as well as other abuses, have been committed by both sides to the conflict."

October 20, 2015  Africa: Tax Tricks, Mobile Phones, and Beer http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/td1510.php
    "Despite MTN having its headquarters located in South Africa, 55% of the "management and technical fee payments" flow to "MTN International" (MTNI)--a company which has no staff and is located in Mauritius. The remaining 45% was paid to MTN Dubai--a subsidiary which the company says it renders international financial services and shared services to MTN Group." - Quartz Africa, on new report by amaBhungane and Finance Uncovered

October 13, 2015  Africa/Global: Health Challenges & Threats http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/rth1510.php
    Last week was the first week since March 2014 that no new cases of Ebola were reported in West Africa. And late last month the World Health Organization announced official guidelines for beginning antiretroviral therapy for all persons infected with HIV even before they show symptoms of AIDS. Fully eradicating either disease and building sustainable health system remain formidable challenges, however. At the same time, U.S. policy to promote greater protection for large pharmaceutical companies in trade negotiations poses a still rising threat to global efforts to guarantee the universal right to health.

August 3, 2015  Africa/Global: Climate Change Roundup http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/clim1508.php
    Coal is the most damaging of fossil fuels, both for human health and for the planet. Although it still dominates in some countries, including South Africa, the case against coal is rapidly gaining ground around the world. On business grounds as well, coal is losing its competitive advantage. 2015, many are suggesting, may be the beginning of the end for coal.

June 22, 2015  Africa: AIDS Struggle Continues http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/hiv1506.php
    "Both globally and in Africa, there is good news. Our collective efforts to end the AIDS epidemic are paying off. Now more people living with HIV than ever before are accessing treatment, more people know their status, and AIDS-related deaths are declining. ... This progress, however, belies a dangerous reality: young African women and adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to HIV." - UNAIDS, June 2015

May 11, 2015  West Africa: Ebola Down But Not Out http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/eb1505.php
    "The [Ebola] epidemic is at its lowest but not over yet. The recent weeks have seen an important decrease in new confirmed Ebola cases across West Africa. Liberia is now close to being declared Ebolafree on 9 May, while Sierra Leone and Guinea are finally getting close to zero. However, the outbreak is not over until it's over at the regional level." - Doctors without Borders, May 6 update

January 21, 2015  Africa/Global: Ebola Lessons & Questions http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/who1501.php
    Media coverage of the Ebola epidemic, which took a sharp downward turn after a handful of patients in the United States recovered, has faded even further into the background as the battle against the epidemic has begun to succeed in the most-affected countries. But those on the front lines warn that complacency could easily allow the still-present virus to hold out and even expand. And although there are clear lessons to be learned, there are also unanswered questions, most notably about international will to implement the imperative of sustainable health systems for the future.

Complete listing of bulletins on health, 2003-present

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