Battling the Root


In chapter 9, Paul Farmer discusses the importance of addressing human rights in the process of addressing health care-considering that health care IS a human right. In order to battle the inequalities that exist in international public health, it is essential to promote human rights and health care as a fundamentally important right. Paul Farmer discusses the role AIDs has played in medicinal and public health, in that (quoting Jonathan Mann) “promoting and protecting health and promoting and protecting human rights are inextricably connected.” 

This concept should be considered in public health advocates’ battle of diarrheal disease. Without addressing access to water and access to health care, the battle of diarrheal disease is a losing cause. Access to medicine is a fundamental right of humans. Access to water is a fundamental right of humans. To die of a disease that is cheaply curable and easily avoidable is a violation of a human’s natural rights. Governments have a responsibility to battle diarrheal disease because according to the declaration of human rights, people are have the right of “freedom from fear and want”.  People contract diseases because they have a want- clean water. In order to battle diarrheal disease, one must battle the root of the issue, which is that people have a right to adequate, clean water and adequate nutrition.  Provides these fundamental rights and we will see the positive repercussions in the decrease of diarrheal disease.


One thought on “Battling the Root

  1. Your post does a great job of summing up Paul Farmer’s message about healthcare as a human right. Additionally, our extra credit policy paper assignment has proven that it is quite difficult to translate ground research into directive policy. Policymakers respond to economically motivated recommendations, therefore, Farmer’s assertion that we must take a social and economic approach when analyzing health care systems is conducive to producing change policy change and reform. Farmer’s position on healthcare and human rights forces us to think about the systems of inequality that contribute to the structural violence that disadvantages such a large portion of our world’s population.

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