Extending health care
One strategy for health equity in low resource settings is to improve access to and delivery of effective community-based primary care. This requires both human capacity and resources for the roll out of basic health services.
Alongside systems and structures to deliver quality health care, there is also a need to hold government to account for its constitutional obligations to provide such services. Here, public interest litigation, advocacy and social mobilisation have served as important strategies to ensure that government delivers on its legal commitments to health rights.
As a result of the advocacy, community mobilisation and litigation efforts of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), two million individuals in the public health care sector gained access to antiretroviral (ARV) medication treatment in 2013. This figure was up from zero in 2004.
TAC also challenged the stigma of HIV and AIDS through pressing for a change in government leadership and policy, and by centering people living with HIV and AIDS in its activities. One example of this is the iconic ‘HIV+’ t-shirt, which contributed to a change in public attitudes towards those living with the disease.
Central to TAC’s efforts, were the leadership, voice and public participation of people living with HIV and AIDS and those communities most acutely affected by the disease. Further detail on Atlantic’s Population Health programme and the organisations it supports is available here.
Atlantic grantees showcase how advancing the realisation of constitutional rights can showcase the lived realities of marginalised communities. With the support of targeted investments, these initiatives have contributed significantly to improving lives and to strengthening democracy.