Right to Health and Its Financing in Africa: End Epidemics and Strengthen Systems that Uphold the Right to Health for All Draft Study

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Working Documents
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Executive Summary 

The African Union and its Member States subscribe to a robust normative legal framework on the right to health. At its core is the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, which holds that “Every individual shall have the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical and mental health” and that States parties to the Charter “shall take the necessary measures to protect the health of their people and to ensure that they receive medical attention when they are sick.” This right is buttressed by a set of individual and people’s rights, and duties. It is also complemented by other regional instruments, including the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, and the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa. 

Realizing the right to health depends on both the amount of health-care financing, its distribution between the public and private sectors, and the ways in which health care is financed. The interplay between health financing and the right to health in Africa has been relatively under-explored –– even though that understanding is vital for identifying opportunities to enhance health financing and overcome at least some of the obstacles that stand in the way of realizing the right to health.

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