Access to reliable healthcare information should be a human right (3)

4 June, 2023

Dear HIFA colleagues,

My take on whether or not access to reliable healthcare information should be a human right is as follows:

Access to reliable healthcare information should be a human right, which has been a subject of international debate for some years. First, if the right to health is a human right, then access to reliable healthcare information should be a human right. The World Health Organization has broadly defined that achieving the right to health is central to and dependent upon realizing other human rights to food, housing, work, education, information, and participation.

However, more issues need more attention and further discussion in this context. For instance, what is the most reliable source of health information, and how does the health information system help manage the health care system? Secondly, how universal and independent are the sources of this reliable health information, given the availability of these sources within the confines of sovereign boundaries that control the flow of this information? All the above are issues that should be discussed and, where possible, be included in the broad healthcare information as a human right.

Nevertheless, access to reliable healthcare information should be a human right.


James Mawanda

HIFA profile: James Mawanda is accredited with the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR), and UN Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022) and a Member of the UNDRR Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism. James is an Associate Partner, at the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change and Health (ICCH), University of Hamburg, Germany. Member, Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education, Columbia University. A member of the Global Health Hub, Germany. Also, a Mentor, International Network for Government Science Advice, Africa Chapter (INGSA-Africa), South Africa, and Mentor, Land Accelerator Africa by World Resources Institute (WRI), A Research Associate, Uganda Red Cross Society. James is a member of the Research4life User Group. He is also a Country Expert (Uganda & Rwanda) for Varieties of Democracy (V-DEM), University of Gothenburg, Sweden, since 2020. An Executive Director of African Forum for International Relations in Research and Development (AFIRRD). A member of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) & United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). James holds a Ph.D. in Diplomacy & International Affairs. James’ research interests span; International Organizations (IOs), particularly their conceptual prescriptions to the developing world; non-government organizations (NGOs) and their socio-political work in the developing world; and global climate policy and health dynamics, diplomacy and negotiations. He is an International Research and Project Assistant, EUCLID University, An Editorial Board Member, International Peer-Reviewed Journals and Books (IPRJB), USA. He is a reviewer at Global Council for Science and the Environment (GCSE), Washington DC; and VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Non-profit Organizations. Uganda’s “ambassador” on The Council on Educational Standards and Accountability in Africa; Member, Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development Phase II (PAEPARD II); Human Development & Capability Association (HDCA)- HDCA Southern African Network; Member, Africa Community of Practice (CoP) on Forgotten / Underutilized Food, by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA); Member, FAO’s Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum).