A FCGH – Would it Help Developing Countries to Fulfill their Duties on the Right to Health?

dutiesA FCGH – Would it Help Developing Countries to Fulfill their Duties on the Right to Health? A South African Perspective

Mark Heywood & John Shija, Section 27
September 29, 2010

It is arguable that the delivery of global health has reached an impasse. This is evident not only in unresolved debates that are raging about where to allocate health aid or how to sustain and expand funding for AIDS treatment,1 but also in challenges facing national health systems that are incapable of purely domestic resolution. But there is some irony and much opportunity in this situation. Not only have the last 20 years seen an unprecedented growth in funding for health, mainly through funding for AIDS, but there have also been a range of initiatives and ideas2 that have generated better knowledge not only of the determinants of health,3 but also of how to attain it.4 Scientists, public health experts and activists have created a store of intellectual knowledge, technology and ideas which, if properly and fairly deployed, might provide the opportunity to re-launch tangible progress towards the progressive realization of the right to health on a global scale.It is in this context that Professor Lawrence Gostin and now a growing band of fellow travelers have floated the idea of a Global Framework Convention on Health (FCGH)5. Gostin summarizes the FCGH as:
     A global health governance scheme that incorporates a bottom-up strategy that strives to do the following: build capacity, so that all countries have enduring and effective health systems; set priorities, so that international assistance is directed to meeting basic survival needs; engage stakeholders, so that a wide variety of state and non-state participants can contribute their resources and expertise; coordinate activities, so that programs among the proliferating number of participants operating around the world are harmonized; and evaluate and monitor progress, to ensure that goals are met and promises kept.6

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