Resources for Health Exchange Winter 2009

For information and websites about subjects discussed in this issue of Health Exchange, please take another look at the articles. You may also find these resources interesting.

Articles, reports, reviews and papers

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (2009). Enhanced Global strategy for further reducing the disease burden of leprosy (plan period 2011-2015) (WHO South East Asia Regional Office)
This document presents an overview of the concepts, ethics and guiding principles of the Enhanced Global Strategy. This is accompanied by the updated Operational Guidelines that outline practical suggestions for the implementation of leprosy control activities based on current evidence, professional knowledge and best practices. It is expected that these documents will assist leprosy-endemic countries in developing their own country-specific strategies and plans of action in order to sustain and provide high quality services to individuals and communities that need them.

POTTS, Helen (2008). Accountability and the right to the highest attainable standard of health (Human Rights Centre, University of Essex)
This is an introduction to accountability in the context of the right to the highest attainable standard of health – the process that provides individuals and communities with the opportunity to understand how governments and others fulfil their right to health obligations. The principle aim is to increase the understanding of government health policy makers and to encourage them to incorporate the right to health in the development and implementation of health plans.

POTTS, Helen (2008). Participation and the right to the highest attainable standard of health (Human Rights Centre, University of Essex).
Participation has wide application in the context of the right to the highest attainable standard of health. In this introduction to participation and the right to health, the principal focus is placed on participation in the development of health policy to illustrate how active and informed participation can take place. This report includes background on the work of the Participation and the Practice of Rights  Project and the residents of the Seven Towers.

OFFICE OF THE UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS/WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (2008). Human rights, health and poverty reduction strategies. (HR/PUB/08/05. Geneva: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights/World Health Organization)
This resource seeks to strengthen efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by helping policymakers incorporate human rights into the design and implementation of the health component of national Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSs).

YAMIN E, PARRA VERA O (October 2008). The role of courts in defining health policy: the case of the Colombian constitutional court (Harvard Law School Human Rights Program Working Paper)

BACKMAN G, HUNT P, KHOSLA R, JARAMILLO-STROUSS C, FIKRE BM, RUMBLE C et al. Health systems and the right to health: an assessment of 194 countries (In: Lancet. 2008 Dec 13;372(9655):2047–85)
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights laid the foundations for the right to the highest attainable standard of health. This right is central to the creation of equitable health systems. This article is based on research to identify some of the right-to-health features of health systems, such as a comprehensive national health plan, and propose 72 indicators that reflect some of these features.
[free registration to view full article]

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (2008) The World Health Report 2008. Primary health care: now more than ever (Geneva: WHO)
This report considers four sets of reforms that reflect a convergence between the values of primary health care, the expectations of citizens and the common health performance challenges that cut across all contexts. These include: universal coverage reforms, service delivery reforms, public policy reforms, and leadership reforms.
“While universally applicable, these reforms do not constitute a blueprint or a manifesto for action. The details required to give them life in each country must be driven by specific conditions and contexts, drawing on the best available evidence.”

IMPSO MORI for DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (UK) (31 July 2008) Human rights in healthcare evaluation
This is an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of implementing a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) in health and social care and focusing on five separate pilot projects.

PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (2008) The right to health and health workforce planning: a guide for government officials, non-governmental organisations, health workers and development partners (Cambridge: Physicians for Human Rights)
This guide explains why it is necessary to ground health workforce planning in human rights, and how to develop a plan that does just that. After years of insufficient investment, inadequate attention, and ill-advised policies, global attention is now focused on the health workforce. Without a skilled, motivated, and well-equipped health workforce accessible to everyone, health goals will go unrealised and the human right to the highest attainable standard of health unfulfilled. The health workforce, improved health outcomes, and human rights are inextricably linked. Not only is a strong health workforce needed for improved health and fulfilling human rights, but human rights are needed to develop the workforce that can lead to overall better health.

BRAZIL MINISTRY OF HEALTH (2008). Hanseníase e Direitos Humanos Direitos e Deveres dos Usuários do SUS (Hansen’s Disease and Human Rights: Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS) User Rights and Responsibilities)

COMMISSION ON SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH (CSDH) (2008). Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health.
Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (Geneva:World Health Organization)
This is the final report of the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (2005-2008). It gives three main recommendations: 1 improve daily living conditions 2. Tackle the inequitable distribution of power, money, and resources 3. Measure and understand the problem and assess the impact of action.
The Commission was created to provide evidence on policies that improve health by addressing the social conditions in which people live and work.
The report is addressed to WHO, national governments, civil society, and other global organisations.

HUNT, Paul et al (2007) Neglected diseases: a human rights analysis (Geneva, World Health Organization)
This report introduces and explores some of the connections between neglected tropical diseases (those affecting people living in developing countries, particularly in rural areas) and human rights with a view to urging all parties concerned to work collaboratively in identifying the practical implications of applying human rights to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and projects for neglected diseases.

MARKS, Stephen (2006). Health and human rights: basic international documents (2nd ed. Cambridge: Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health)
This collection of texts is updated and expanded from the first edition to provide the practitioner, scholar, and advocate with access to the most basic instruments of international law and policy that express the values of human rights for advancing health. The topics covered include professional ethics; research and experimentation; treatment of prisoners and detainees; patients’ rights; right to health; right to life; freedom from torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide; the right to an adequate standard of living; women and reproductive health; children; persons with disabilities; rights of older persons; infectious diseases; business, trade, and intellectual property; occupational health and safety; biotechnology; and protection of the environment. This book will be an indispensable reference work.
[not available online]

OFFICE OF THE UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (2006). Principles and guidelines for a human rights approach to poverty reduction strategies (HR/PUB/06/12. Geneva: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights)
The resource aims to assist countries, international agencies and development practitioners in translating human rights norms, standards and principles into pro-poor policies and strategies.
The work builds upon several previous publications of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, including Draft Guidelines on a Human Rights Approach to Poverty Reduction Strategies (2002) and Human Rights and Poverty Reduction: A Conceptual Framework (2004), drafted by Professors Paul Hunt, Manfred Nowak and Siddiq Osmani, and also draws on consultations with various stakeholders (including Member States, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organisations).

HOGERZEIL HV, SAMSON M, CASANOVAS JV, RAHMANI-OCORA L (2006). Is access to essential medicines as part of the fulfilment of the right to health enforceable through the courts?
[In: Lancet 2006 Jul 22:368(9532):305–11]
This research identified and analysed completed court cases in low-income and middle-income countries in which individuals or groups had claimed access to essential medicines with reference to the right to health in general, or to specific human rights treaties ratified by the government, in order to assess whether or not the obligation by the State to its people towards the realisation of the right to health, which includes access to essential medicine was enforceable in practice.

KINNEY E, CLARK B (2004) Provisions for health and health care in the constitutions of the countries of the world [In; Cornell International Law Journal 2004;37:285–355]
This article reports on findings of an empirical analysis of the provisions of the constitutions of the world that address health and health care. The article also examines other indices of national commitment to health and health care, such as ratification of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and relevant regional human rights treaties, and national performance in allocating budgetary resources towards health and health care.

NYGREN-KRUG, Helena (July 2002) 25 questions & answers on health & human rights (Geneva: World Health Organization)
This publication explores the complex relationship between health and human rights issues. It discusses 25 key questions relating to this topic, such as: the links between health and human rights law; the meaning of “the right to health”; international governmental commitments and monitoring mechanisms; ethical issues; the impact of globalisation.

United Nations documents

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL (2008). Elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members. (Resolution A/HRC/8/L.18)

UNITED NATIONS (2007). Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UN Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs

Interim report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the right of everyone to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and Mental Health
. UN Doc. No. A/58/428 (2003)

UN SECRETARY GENERAL (1997) Renewing the United Nations: a programme for reform (A/51/950. New York: United Nations)

UNITED NATIONS (1966). International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, G.A. res. 2200A (XXI)


International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights (IIMMHR) This is a partnership of international, regional and national civil society organisations that aims to reduce maternal mortality through a comprehensive human rights approach,

Human Rights Centre
This archive contains UN reports, articles and speeches on the right to health, written and delivered by Paul Hunt during his time as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (“right to health” or “right to the highest attainable standard of health”), as well as the work of other staff at the Right to Health Unit, of the Human Rights Centre, working in support of the mandate.

Compiled by Deepthi Wickremasinghe, co-ordinator SOURCE International Information Support Centre
Source is designed to meet the information needs of individuals and organisations working in health, disability and development worldwide. These include health workers, researchers and students, nongovernmental and governmental organisations, and disabled people’s organisations. With both a resource centre, based in London, and electronic databases, this is a unique collection of around 25,000 health and disability information resources. These include books, journals, manuals, report, posters, CD-ROMs, websites and organisations. Many materials are from developing countries and include both published and unpublished literature not readily available elsewhere in the UK.

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