Health - An universally recognized human right
Health is a human right beyond the reach of one hundred million people. Besides being unacceptable, the inequalities that currently prevail in this regard are a violation of human rights. For
SDC, public health issues therefore take precedence in political debates over preserving intellectual property rights and pursuing commercial strategies.
Three of the eight Millennium Development Goals relate to health. Their focus is to:
reduce child mortality
improve maternal health
combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases
Health and health services are not a matter for governments alone but also for communities. SDC focuses its efforts on improving governance as an essential factor in gearing resource management as closely as possible to users' health needs and welfare.
Despite some encouraging results, we should not turn a blind eye to some bleak realities. The gap between the health of the rich and the poor is widening steadily. In many countries, public health
has now deteriorated into a parlous state. The lifeblood of some countries has been sapped by diseases such as AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis, and nearly one hundred million people – the poorest of
the poor – are still being deprived of fundamental rights such as enough food as well as access to safe water, healthcare and sanitary facilities.
The SDC focus: The needs of the most disadvantaged
SDC's sees the rampant inequalities in health matters as unacceptable violations of basic human rights so concentrates its efforts on the needs of the poorest, who are also the most vulnerable.
Linking direct to the Millennium Development Goals as defined by the United Nations, which aim to halve extreme poverty by 2015, SDC regards health as a decisive factor in economic and social development. As such, it is an essential instrument for increasing social justice, reducing inequalities and promoting sustainable development. This dictates the emphasis that SDC places upon governance, empowering communities and health-service users, and developing targeted structures.
Additional Information and DocumentsDocuments
- Swiss Health Foreign Policy
Download (PDF, 2080 KB) : [de] [en] [fr] [it]
- SDC Health Policy 2003-2010
Download (PDF, 501 KB) : [de] [en] [fr] [es] [ru]
Articles and Press releases