This work includes forewords by Senator Noel A Kinsella and John A Gibson, respectively Speaker, Canadian Senate; Barrister at Law and Principal, International Refugee Consulting. This is a book based on what the Charter of the UN states about health as a basic human right. General readers will find a refreshing, up-to-date account of why these issues are so crucial, while professionals will find the cogent epidemiological analyses needed to inform research efforts. The book argues that the major causes of ill-health are not bacteria and viruses, or even war and natural disasters, but poverty. If we could solve the immensely complex problems of global inequities in wealth, the health inequities would largely vanish. The issue is not a simple one. This book sets out, among other things, to break down the communication barriers between the 'professionals' (doctors, economists and international bankers) and the ordinary person who looks with dismay at international injustice but feels totally inadequate in the face of it. The book argues that neoliberal approaches to global finance and international trade, which are inextricably linked to the looming environmental crisis, are not the only way open to us, and suggests alternatives. Above all, it offers hope and a useful role for all of us in solving the problems. Theodore H MacDonald's previous books have won international acclaim. To this new title he brings to bear the fruits of years of experience as a medical doctor, teacher and researcher in some of the poorest countries in the world. This book is provocative and will inspire informed action on the part of all of us. "The passion, conviction and wealth of knowledge of this work's author are evident. His ability as a communicator in conjunction with a tempered expertise held by few enables him to identify, analyze and provide his reflection on the right to health and its relation to global economics. The content and style of the writing reflects MacDonald's impressive experiential background. Theodore Macdonald is known internationally as a leader in the promotion of the human right to health. Not only does this work have great heuristic value, it also serves as an example of how the efforts of one remarkable individual can address the concerns of millions." - Noel A Kinsella, in his Foreword. "Optimistic, clear and concise. [The book] greatly informs a lay reader like myself. Arguments are invariably backed up by hard empirical data drawn from a range of authoritative sources. [This book] significantly adds to the understanding of health as a fundamental human right, the content of that right and what must be done to ensure that it can become a reality for the millions who presently lack even an acceptable standard of primary health care. The reader is left with a clear message; unless we evaluate alternatives to existing structures to bring about qualitative change in health outcomes in the developing world, environmental disaster fuelled by war and international chaos is our probable destiny. I am honoured to have been asked to write this forward and enthusiastically recommend it to anyone with an interest in the future of mankind." - John A Gibson, in his Foreword.
Table of Contents
Human rights - the UN's mandate. A bird's eye view of global finance and human rights. The global impact on human rights of UN agencies. Worsening global equity in access to safe water. Inequalities in global distribution. Poverty and primary health care. Transnational corporations - instruments for global control. Gender equality as a basic right to health. In defence of children and their rights. Literacy and education. Impact of the globalisation of HIV/AIDS. Malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. The worldwide exclusion of minorities. Saving the human race: environmental sustainability. Global right to health: dream or possibility.