Saturday, 4 November 2017

THREE VOICES, ONE AIM: How Jamaican policymakers, the EU and the WHO find common ground for an empowered society

ALL FOR ONE: "We believe in a society empowered to accomplish its fullest potentail, and a healthy population is a significant part of that," says the EU's Malgorzata Wasilewska (above).

THE WHO LAYS DOWN THE LAW: Human rights are universal and inalienable, and include such freedoms as access to health facilities and goods and services for everyone everywhere in the world – without discrimination. “To promote the right to health and minimize barriers to attaining quality health care, the WHO recommends that health strategies and policies employ the tenets (non-discrimination, availability, accessibility, quality and accountability) across all the building blocks of the health system and must take into consideration the implementation of each activity during the design and development of policy and planning,” the WHO says. “Services must be made present for all members of the population, including those who may be vulnerable and marginalized. These rights lay the foundation and provide the tenets for global public health systems and are precursors for standards such as Universal Health Coverage and Universal Health Access.”

JAMAICA SETS DEVELOPMENT GOALS: Jamaica is a signatory to several international and regional declarations, covenants and regulations that seek to promote accessible, affordable, equitable and quality health care. In fact, Chapter 3 of the Constitution outlines essential rights and freedoms, including the right to life, the right to fair, humane and equal treatment, and the right to a healthy and productive environment. “Local and international civil society and health experts have recommended that the right to health must also be explicitly stated,” the CVC Coalition points out. The principles of these international agreements are outlined, too, in plans and policies like Vision 2030, Jamaica’s Development Plan, where the goals include the creation of a healthy and stable population. “The strategy for this,” the CVCC says, “includes a focus on strengthening primary health care, service delivery and responsiveness and sustainable financing for health and a sustainable workforce.”

THE EU PLEDGES SUPPORT: “Developing countries deserve better access to health care. It’s a fundamental right, and we continue to champion this because we believe in people. Jamaicans are still ignorant of what the basic rights are. There’s plenty of work to be done for them to understand those rights,” says Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head of Delegation for the European Union, who are funding projects being undertaken by the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition and the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition. “This is an investment in people’s well-being. It’s very important for us Europeans that the freedoms we enjoy can be enhanced and shared with people around the world.” Wasilewska says projects like the health economics research are critical for Jamaicans to strengthen their roles as citizens championing human rights. “Respect for human rights must be guaranteed. The EU is committed to gender equality, access to health and Jamaica’s Development Plan,” she says. “We believe in a society empowered to achieve its fullest potential, and a healthy population is a significant part of that.”

Read More:
> CVCC reveals findings of health economics research






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