Human rights and health
The international human right to health has been established through various international
agreements and other documents, as depicted in Table 12: Sources for the human right to
health (pp. 279-280). Among the principles that are asserted as human rights are the
availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of public health and health care
In this Application Assignment you are asked to analyze a global public health problem
using the international human right to health as a framework. In what ways would a
human rights approach to the problem help to provide solutions to the health threat?
Begin by examining a global health problem, such as a particular infectious or chronic
disease or type of injury. Alternatively, choose specific public health problems such as lack
of access to medical or dental care, war, or a natural disaster. Research your topic by
locating and reading at least three primary research articles.
Then, write a 3- to 5-page paper in which you address the following:
Explain why your selected health threat is global and not national in nature.
Using the international human right to health as a framework, describe the severity of this
problem. Focus particularly on the availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of
public health and health-care services related to your chosen global health threat. (Refer to
Box 17, p. 281.)
Do you think that a human rights approach is an appropriate and effective method for
addressing this particular health issue? Take a stand and justify your position.
In today’s world, accountability of the health centers has drastically increased where the
services provided by the healthcare providers is carefully monitored by all rights guiding human
rights. As a result, most of the health care systems have greatly worked in the expectation of
human rights in the provision of their services. To avoid being held responsible of any adverse
health situation of any individual, the government has ensured that there is availability of health
services, safe and healthy working conditions of these systems. This is done in an attempt of
coordinating well with human rights to health that have been protected by national and
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international bodies across the world. As such, this essay focuses on the human rights to health in
regard to chronic diseases and how human rights can be used to control all health complications
associated with chronic disease.
Chronic disease is a continuous health condition that cannot be cured but can only be
controlled. According to the Center of Managing Chronic Disease (2011), chronic disease affects
the largest population globally and being the leading cause of disability and deaths in the United
States where it constitutes to the 70% of deaths in U.S. In addition, chronic disease is the leading
cause of premature deaths across the world even where infectious disease are flourishing.
However, despite these serious issues associated with chronic disease they are preventable as
most of causes of this disease can be avoided as most of them are nutrition related causes.
Consequently, this means that this disease is manageable and, thus, all the health organization
bodies aiming at controlling this disease focuses on assisting patients in managing the disease by
Nevertheless, human rights to health can be used to prevent and reduce the rampancy of
this disease. Human rights to health use several principles to evaluate the performance of a health
care institution as well as the services they are providing. These rights argue that it is a right of
every human being to achieve highest standards of mental and physical health that incorporates
the ease of accessibility of medical services, health working condition, sanitation and a clean
environment (Hunnicutt, 2010). According to human rights to health, there should be a universal
way of accessing health care for everyone and it should be done on an equal basis. The
accessibility right cuts across all forms of openness needed in a health facility. This includes the
physical, information and economic accessibility (Hunnicutt, 2010). Chronic diseases can be
prevented or contained whenever there is availability of healthcare services. It is through the
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availability of these services that will ensure that the bills associated in maintaining the sick
people is reduced. Also, accessibility of these services will ease the availability of health
education to the patients on how to manage their health conditions.
In addition, human rights stress that health care services should always be available. This
right insists on the availability of enough health care infrastructures such as hospitals and trained
health care professionals, services such as mental health and goods like drugs (Hunnicutt, 2010).
Through the availability of services, chronic disease can be easily prevented as patients will be
visiting these institutions severally and be attended to leading to early detection of this disease
which is a key factor of controlling this disease. Moreover, the human right to health ensures that
the health care providers and institutions are recognizing and respecting the dignity of human
through the right of acceptability and dignity (Wolff, 2012). This right ensures that the
appropriate services are offered by these institutions are taking into account the culture of the
patient, gender and age. Through this right, chronic disease can be prevented amongst the old age
as they are prone to these diseases. This right will ensure that the service providers extend their
health education to the old age in an attempt of guiding them on the dietary issues. More so, the
disparity of chronic disease is based upon the diversification of the ethnicity, education level and
socioeconomic of different people. As such, this power governs the provision of health services
to all the people equally while abiding with the code of ethics governing healthcare operations.
Correspondingly, human right to health uses the principle of quality to evaluate the
quality of healthcare services provided in these institutions and their impact on the attended
patients (Wolff, 2012). This principle argues that all health care must be of good quality and
suitable to the serving of the patients. The right continues to argue that these services must be
provided in time and in a safe manner. The right goes on and insists of the appropriateness of the
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of quality scientific and medical application in healthcare (Wolff, 2012). This can help reduce
chronic liver disease that is an example of chronic disease by reducing the usage of the
antibiotics by the patients.
All these rights combined can help reduce and prevent chronic diseases as they govern how the
health care facility and providers handle patients. Similarly, these rights ensure that there is
accessibility of the available healthcare services that in turn help in early identification of the
chronic disease. Equally, the rights evaluate the quality of the services provided by clinicians
while attending to patients affected by this disease as well as acceptability of all the patients
without any biasness in basis of age, gender, ethnic and education level.
In a conclusive voice, therefore, human rights to health are a crucial issue in evaluating the
performance of a healthcare institution and in enhancing provision of better services by these
institutions. Additionally, these rights can help in preventing and managing chronic diseases in
that they ensure equal servicing of these patients as well as provision of high-quality service.
Lastly, these rights ensure that health care services are enough and easily accessible anywhere,
anytime by all patients.
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The Center for Managing Chronic Disease, (2011). What is Chronic Disease?
Wolff, J. (2012). The human right to health. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Hunnicutt, S. (2010). Universal health care. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.