Sample Health Care Paper


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Discussion Question :The UN has identified adherence to human rights standards as important to individual health. How can focusing on human rights help minimize the potential for adverse effects resulting from a natural or human-generated disaster?

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Module 13 Global Health

Natural and human-made disasters have the potential to cause extensive death and damage to resources. In both cases, those who are least able to afford medical care or gain access to preventive and coping strategies are the most vulnerable. Both the UN and WHO have put in place declarations that protect human rights in efforts to promote access to health services and other basic requirements such as food, clothing, and shelter (WHO, 2015).


During disasters, the provision of adequate health services and assistance becomes a huge burden for local providers (Ferris, 2010). In these situations, international organizations and health regulators are encouraged to offer international assistance. A major debate is ongoing regarding the lack of regulations to govern the intervention capacity of states during disasters and emergencies. For example, countries such as Myanmar and Afghanistan have in some cases turned down international assistance after being hit by various disasters, thereby raising human rights concerns.

In order to improve global health, the global health community must develop better methods of immediate response, mitigation strategies and adjusting after the emergency (Aginam, 2011).Such response requires that legal frameworks are streamlined to prioritize the promotion of health and efficiency and elevate these considerations above prevailing political and economic interests. Each country must stipulate its own laws that coincide with the international legal regime on human rights and health protections. In addition, the distribution of relief supplies and machinery has always posed a challenge in terms of equality in distribution and timely delivery of relief aid. Governments and international administrators must ensure that aid reached the intended victims as provided.


Essentially, governmental and non-governmental agencies in all regions of the world must be aware of the risk factors that face them in case of natural disasters and other soft dangers such as disease outbreaks, all of which have human rights implications (Jacobsen, 2013). In this way, they will be able to offer ready assistance at prevention and management levels. A focus on health as a human rights issue creates a sense of responsibility by governments and international health agencies.


Aginam, O. (2011). Health and Human Security in Emergencies. United Nations University. April 19, 2011.

Ferris, E. (2010). Natural Disasters, Tracings and Human Rights:Tracing the Connections. Brookings, March 3, 2010.

Jacobsen, K. (2013). Introduction to Global Health, Second Edition. Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

WHO. (2015). Health and Human Rights. Web.

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