Realizing Universal Health Coverage in East Africa: The Relevance of Human Rights

BMC International Health and Human Rights, 17(1), 1-10 (2017)

10 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2021

See all articles by Alicia Ely Yamin

Alicia Ely Yamin

Harvard University - Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics; Harvard University - Harvard Law School; Partners in Health; Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) - Center on Law and Social Transformation

Allan A. Maleche

Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network

Date Written: August 3, 2017

Abstract

Applying a robust human rights framework would change thinking and decision-making in efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and advance efforts to promote women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health in East Africa, which is a priority under the Sustainable Development Agenda. Nevertheless, there is a gap between global rhetoric of human rights and ongoing health reform efforts. This debate article seeks to fill part of that gap by setting out principles of human rights-based approaches (HRBAs), and then applying those principles to questions that countries undertaking efforts toward UHC and promoting women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, will need to face, focusing in particular on ensuring enabling legal and policy frameworks, establishing fair financing; priority-setting processes, and meaningful oversight and accountability mechanisms. In a region where democratic institutions are notoriously weak, we argue that the explicit application of a meaningful human rights framework could enhance equity, participation and accountability, and in turn the democratic legitimacy of health reform initiatives being undertaken in the region.

Keywords: Universal Health Coverage, East Africa, Human rights, Health systems, Fair financing, Priority-setting, Accountability, Participation

Suggested Citation

Yamin, Alicia Ely and Maleche, Allan A., Realizing Universal Health Coverage in East Africa: The Relevance of Human Rights (August 3, 2017). BMC International Health and Human Rights, 17(1), 1-10 (2017), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3795542

Alicia Ely Yamin (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics ( email )

23 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02155
United States

Harvard University - Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Partners in Health ( email )

641 Huntington Ave, 1st Floor
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) - Center on Law and Social Transformation ( email )

PO Box 6033 Postterminalen
Bergen, NO-5892
Norway

Allan A. Maleche

Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network

Kenya

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