PBI-Honduras highlights the human right to health during the coronavirus pandemic

Published by Brent Patterson on

On March 30, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted on their Facebook page, “During the coronavirus crisis we remember health is a fundamental human right of all human beings.”

PBI-Honduras adds, “[The human right to health] is related to other fundamental rights such as life, personal integrity, human dignity, adequate food, information, drinking water and adequate sanitation, among others.”

Their post also included an article by the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective which has been accompanied by PBI-Colombia since 1995.

On March 26, the Collective “launched the COVID19 and human rights booklet, which seeks to provide tools to understand and demand our rights in times of pandemic.”

The first chapter focuses on “the right to health that emphasizes the importance of public health understood as a human right to overcome this health emergency.”

The full article can be read at COVID19 and the right to health: Public health against the pandemic.

As of March 30, there have been 3 deaths and 139 cases of coronavirus in Honduras.

On March 27, Al Jazeera reported, “Honduras has one of the weakest healthcare systems in the world and is ill-prepared to confront an epidemic, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Global Health Security Index.”

“The country spends only about 8.5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare, much less than the regional average of 14 percent. Corruption in the healthcare system, including embezzlement of public funds and schemes to buy overpriced medicine and equipment, only worsens the problem.”

“Hospitals often lack medicine, bed space and basic supplies, a situation that spells disaster for a growing pandemic.”

The article also notes the concern expressed by Suyapa Figueroa, president of the Honduran Medical College, that the Honduran “government could manipulate this public health crisis into another attempt to privatise the healthcare system.”

The PBI-Honduras Project was established in 2013.

Our 2018 Annual Report notes, “Eight international volunteers accompanied members of six organisations and one individual HRD working on business and human rights, land rights, indigenous rights, freedom of expression, support to victims, women’s rights and LGBTI rights. Volunteers are based in Tegucigalpa.”

For more on the work of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective, please visit their Facebook page and Twitter feed.


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