A human rights-based approach to poverty reduction : the role of the right of access to medicine as an element of the right of access to health care

Strauss, Z. ; Horsten, D. A. (2013)

CITATION: Strauss, Z. & Horsten, D. A. 2013. A human rights-based approach to poverty reduction : the role of the right of access to medicine as an element of the right of access to health care. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 16(3):336-375, doi:10.17159/1727-3781/2013/v16i3a2376.

The original publication is available at https://journals.assaf.org.za

Article

The prevention and treatment of infectious diseases remain one of the greatest challenges faced by today's developing countries. Although they can be treated relatively easily, a significant portion of the world's population does not have sufficient or any access to the essential2 and life-saving medicines that are necessary to do so.3 The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that about one-third of the world's population lacks access to essential medicine4 and that the HIV/AIDS pandemic has worsened this problem.5 This is especially true for poor and otherwise vulnerable communities, where the lack of or inadequate access to these essential medicines compounds the effects of untreated infectious diseases, leading to preventable deaths and human suffering.6 This, according to the United Nations (UN), directly contradicts the fundamental principle of health as a human right.7

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