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.
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.
- Strengthening health systems and health services
- Controlling the main transmittable diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and building the fight against HIV/AIDS into international cooperation
- Improving sexual and reproductive health, including child and reproductive health
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.