Human Rights and Public Health: Dichotomies or Synergies in Developing Countries? Examining the Case of HIV in South Africa

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 30 (4):677-691 (2002)
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Abstract

Despite growing advances in medical technologies, health status inequalities continue to increase across the globe. Developing countries have been faced with declining expenditures in health and social services, increasing burdens posed by both communicable and non-communicable diseases, and economic systems poorly geared to fostering sustainable development for the poorest and most marginalized. Under such circumstances, the challenges facing health practitioners in countries in transition are complex and diverse, and require the balancing of many conflicting imperatives. This is particularly so in relation to the development of public health policy, where equity, redress of past inequalities, and the god of social justice may seemingly be pitted against macroeconomic adjustments required for national economic development in an increasingly globalized economic order.For example, pressures to deregulate as part of a market-oriented development philosophy will increase the risks from occupational hazards in populations desperate for paid employment.

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