People of the Commonwealth: Critical Conversations

The Right to Health in a Time of Crisis: What Have We Learned From Covid-19?

Jump to Guests
Guests
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng
Allan Maleche
Dr Ana B. Amaya
Dr Githinji Gitahi, MBS
Dr Ines Hassan
Date & Time
2:00pm, 22 April 2021 - 3:30pm, 22 April 2021
Location
About the event

International treaties stipulate that every human being is entitled to the highest attainable standard of health—yet Covid-19 has exposed stark gaps between commitment and reality; as the young in wealthy countries wait in line for vaccines, the old in poorer nations have hardly begun to queue.

This pandemic has forced us to consider what the status of the right to health is today; how it applies when the whole world is swept by disease at once; and how it can be used to judge the actions of governments and the international community. It has also magnified health’s relationship with wider social factors. Medical infrastructure, state capacity, and social protection policies have all influenced the pandemic.

So, what has Covid-19 taught us about the link between the right to health and other human rights? Have our human rights been properly respected during this crisis? And could the international community do more to protect the world’s most vulnerable?

During this Critical Conversation, health practitioners and advocates from across the Commonwealth will attempt to chart a better path forward through Covid-19 and beyond.

This event has taken place. You can watch it here:

Guests
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng Panellist
Allan Maleche Panellist
Dr Ana B. Amaya Panellist
Dr Githinji Gitahi, MBS Panellist
Dr Ines Hassan Moderator
Panellist
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng

At its forty-fourth session in July 2020, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, from South Africa, as Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Tlaleng Mofokeng is a medical doctor with expertise advocating for universal health access, HIV care, youth friendly services and family planning.

Tlaleng Mofokeng is Commissioner at the Commission for Gender Equality in South Africa and member of the boards of Safe Abortion Action Fund, Global Advisory Board for Sexual Health and Wellbeing, Accountability International. She is also the Chair of the Soul City Institute board. She has experience in advocacy training for healthcare professionals and her areas of focus have been on gender equality, policy, maternal and neonatal health, universal health access, post violence care, menstrual health, and HIV management.

Tlaleng Mofokeng has been advisor to the Technical Committee for the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Framework Strategy in South Africa, successfully mobilizing across movements working on issues of children and adolescents, persons with disabilities, migrants and persons living with HIV/AIDS. She has briefed the United States Senate congressional staff on the impact of the Global Gag Rule globally and in the region. She has worked as a first responder on matters of gender-based violence, and has been an expert witness in court, leaning on the work of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to defend the rights of the abused with an interest to ensure access to post-violence care.

Panellist
Allan Maleche

Allan Maleche is a dynamic leader, an advocate of the high court of Kenya and a human rights defender with over fourteen  years of experience in law, ethics, governance, policy, health and rights, including seven years managing rights-based programmes that protect affected, marginalised and vulnerable populations. He is currently serving as the Executive Director of Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network on HIV & AIDS (KELIN). He sits and co-chairs the UNAIDS Human Rights Reference group. A former Board Member of the Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board, where he also served as a member of the Global Fund’s Audit and Finance Committee, and the former Chair of the Implementers Group of the Global Fund Board.

Panellist
Dr Ana B. Amaya

Dr Ana B. Amaya is Assistant Professor at Pace University, Associate Research Fellow at the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), and Module Organizer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She was also recently elected to the Executive Board of Health Systems Global, a global membership organization of researchers, decision-makers and implementers dedicated to promoting health policy and systems research (HPSR) and knowledge generation. A specialist on global health policy and multi-level governance for health, her research has entailed understanding the impact of new global health institutions and issues on the health systems of low- and middle- income countries. Most recently, this has involved examining regional organizations in the Global South and health disparities related to Covid-19. Other areas of expertise include: the politics of global health; health diplomacy; and the sustainability of development aid for health.

Panellist
Dr Githinji Gitahi, MBS

A passionate advocate for pro-poor Universal Health Coverage, Githinji Gitahi joined Amref Health Africa as the Global Chief Executive Officer in June 2015. Amref Health Africa, founded in 1957, is the largest Africa-led international organization, reaching more than 11 million people each year through 150 health-focused projects across 35 countries. Until his appointment to Amref Health Africa, Dr Gitahi was the Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, Smile Train International. Prior to that, Dr Gitahi was Managing Director for Monitor Publications in Uganda as well as General Manager for Marketing and Circulation in East Africa for the Nation Media Group. He held progressively senior positions at GlaxoSmithKline and worked at the Avenue Group. Dr Gitahi is former co-Chair of the UHC2030 Steering Committee, a global World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO) initiative for Universal Health Coverage (UHC). He serves on a number of Boards, notably – Board of Directors of The Standard Group in Kenya, Board of Trustees of Safaricom Foundation and Governing Board of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and prevention (Africa CDC). Dr Gitahi holds a bachelor’s degree in Medicine from the University of Nairobi, a master’s degree in Business Administration from the United States International University; as well as a Certificate for Strategic Perspectives for Nonprofit Management from Harvard University. In December 2018, Dr Gitahi was bestowed the 2018 ‘Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear’ (MBS) by the President of Kenya, in recognition of his outstanding contribution and commitment to the health sector.

Moderator
Dr Ines Hassan

Ines Hassan is a Senior Policy Researcher at the Global Health Governance Programme at the Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh.

She holds a Doctorate of Engineering (EngD) in Biochemical Engineering from University College London.

She has spent more than ten years supporting the pharmaceutical industry in manufacturing, supply and commercialisation strategy. In recent years, she moved into the world of Global Health Policy and has supported organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) with regulatory system strengthening initiatives.

She has most recently been working with the Scottish Covid-19 Advisory Group and the Royal Society’s Data Evaluation and Learning for Viral Epidemics (DELVE) group to produce rapid policy research and key recommendations for the UK and devolved Governments.  She also worked with the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparation and Response (IPPPR) to assess WHO’s response to past outbreaks and the Covid-19 pandemic.

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