A Global Social Contract to Reduce Maternal Mortality: The Human Rights Arguments and the Case of Uganda

Posted: 8 Feb 2014 Last revised: 19 Jul 2014

See all articles by Gorik Ooms

Gorik Ooms

University of Antwerp - Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM)

Mulumba Moses

Center for Health, Human Rights and Development; Uganda Chritian University

Rachel Hammonds

Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

Lyla Latif

University of Nairobi

Attiya Waris

School of Law, University of Nairobi

Lisa Forman

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; University of Toronto

Date Written: November 1, 2013

Abstract

Progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5a, reducing maternal deaths by 75% between 1990 and 2015, has been substantial; however, it has been too slow to hope for its achievement by 2015, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, including Uganda. This suggests that both the Government of Uganda and the international community are failing to comply with their right-to-health-related obligations towards the people of Uganda. This country case study explores some of the key issues raised when assessing national and international right-to-health-related obligations. We argue that to comply with their shared obligations, national and international actors will have to take steps to move forward together. The Government of Uganda should not expect additional international assistance if it does not live up to its own obligations; at the same time, the international community must provide assistance that is more reliable in the long run to create the ‘fiscal space’ that the Government of Uganda needs to increase recurrent expenditure for health – which is crucial to addressing maternal mortality. We propose that the ‘Roadmap on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity for AIDS, TB and Malaria Response in Africa’, adopted by the African Union in July 2012, should be seen as an invitation to the international community to conclude a global social contract for health.

Keywords: human rights, right to health, reproductive rights, maternal mortality, fiscal space, displacement, Uganda

Suggested Citation

Ooms, Gorik and Moses, Mulumba and Hammonds, Rachel and Latif, Lyla and Waris, Attiya and Forman, Lisa and Forman, Lisa, A Global Social Contract to Reduce Maternal Mortality: The Human Rights Arguments and the Case of Uganda (November 1, 2013). Reproductive Health Matters, Vol. 21, No. 42, November 2013, pp 129-138, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2392270

Gorik Ooms (Contact Author)

University of Antwerp - Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) ( email )

Antwerp
Belgium

Mulumba Moses

Center for Health, Human Rights and Development ( email )

Plot 833, Old Kiira Road
Ssebowa Road, P.O. Box 16617
Kampala
Uganda

Uganda Chritian University ( email )

Mukono
Uganda

Rachel Hammonds

Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium ( email )

Antwerp
Belgium

Lyla Latif

University of Nairobi ( email )

KY

Attiya Waris

School of Law, University of Nairobi ( email )

P O Box 30197
Nairobi, Nairobi 00100
Kenya

Lisa Forman

University of Toronto ( email )

155 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3M7
Canada

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto ( email )

155 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3M7
Canada

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