Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Human Rights and Journalism

Last week on Thursday I returned to the University of Malawi, at its constituent college the Polytechnic where I met my former students in the Journalism Department. All I was trying to do was to motivate them to incorporate human rights in their studies and in their work when they graduate. It was a great and humbling experience to be invited by one of my ex-students Wonderful Hunga for the talk, and to have a classroom full of listening students from freshmen to final years.
It wasn't that easy to give a quick background of human rights and then outline its connection to journalism but in the end it went on okay. My hope is that some students will take up the challenge and go for post-graduate studies in journalism or human rights.
One first year fellow caught my eye with intelligent comments and it would be satisfying if he makes it big along with his seniors gathered in the room in the academic world.


At 26 July 2008 at 18:51:00 CEST, Blogger evanson sambala said...

i find this article very interesting. i have just finished working on a research paper which i titled ensuring access to medicines using the framework of primary health care.In the article, i linked human rights and health and attempted to argue rhat using UN international declaration on human rights of 1948 and its subsequent declarations can increase access to medicines. see abstract

Abstract(in press)
This paper examines the rationale for improving access to medicines by policy orientation within the role of primary health care (PHC). The principles of PHC, often ignored have ultimate relevance in promoting universal basic health services and social benefits. For many years, the PHC system has lead to great expansion of hospitals, pharmaceuticals, advanced technology and specialised health services. The premise (PHC) progressively contributes widely in determining collective health. The 30 year old doctrine despite grappling philosophical issues, remain nonetheless, a centrepiece that can assure access to medicines in the 21st century. Furthermore, just like decades ago, the ideological values and fundamental goals of PHC place greater emphasis to health than health services in obtaining health and social gains. In brief, PHC has the most sophisticated organised infrastructure, theories and political principles which can deal adequately with issues of inequity, inequality and social injustice emerging from advert of trade and globalisation. The prominent issues of negative economic externalities and neo-economic policies restricting access arise due to complex social and political influences. Thus, addressing these issues may require integration of the mainstream principles within PHC such as human rights and normative values underpinning the framework. This paper highlights these historic principles and attempts to give an overview of how access to medicines can be improved. In relation to this, a brief discussion on the political relevance of PHC in context of TRIPS agreement is illustrated together with its constructs of partnerships, research and development, drug policies and advocacy. These (PHC) domains can provide comprehensive contributions in providing access to medicines within the emergent global challenges. Finally, embracing other existing opportunities recommended in 2001 DOHA covenant, can strengthen the local industry capacity and national policies in providing equitable access to health. The DOHA declaration permits the use of compulsory licensing, exceptions to patents rights, exclusions of patentability and parallel importation. In conclusion, primary health care (PHC) role can improve access to medicines if its operational systems were strengthened and politically supported.

At 4 September 2008 at 17:42:00 CEST, Blogger Joe Mlenga said...

Interesting! Which context was your thesis based on? Africa? Which country? We have PHC in Malawi! I get intrigued with the debate on issues between big pharmaceutical companies and countries seeking cheap generic medicines. Any chance of reading an online version of your work?


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