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Voices for Health Rights

Voices for Health Rights (VHR) is a coalition of 14 civil society organisations working in health and health rights related activities initiated in 2006 as a united front to advocate for good health policies and implementation of best practices.

VHR’s goal is “to bring together Civil Society Organisations for the promotion of the right to health in Uganda”. The coalition’s vision is a society whose health policies and practices reflect the Rights Based Approach.

The constituent members of VHR are:

  1. Action Group for Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS (AGHA)
  2. Basic Needs Basic Rights – Uganda, (BNU)
  3. Effort Integrated Development Foundation (EINTEDEF),
  4. Epilepsy Support Association Uganda (ESAU),
  5. Health Rights Action Group (HAG),
  6. Joyce Fertility Support Centre, (JFSC)
  7. Mental Health Uganda (MHU),
  8. National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (NACWOLA),
  9. National Care Centre (NACARE)
  10. Women’s Awareness Against Cervical Cancer (WAACC),
  11. Sickle Cell Association of Uganda, (SCAU)
  12. Traditional and Modern Health Practitioners Together Against AIDS and other Diseases (THETA),
  13. Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU)
  14. Uganda National Health Users/Consumers Organization (UNHCO)
VHR

VHR members pose for a photo with officials from Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) after a meeting to discuss future collaborations

Past advocacy efforts include

Different members in VHR initiated joint advocacy work on health rights in 2002.  A formal collaborative arrangement for VHR was initiated in an MOU signed by 10 organisations in 2006.  Some of the main areas of progress in VHR advocacy work include:

  • Representative voice of civil society on the Health Policy Advisory Committee; Health Sector Working Group; Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM); Public Private Partnership in Health (PPPH)
  • Formulation of the Patients’ Charter – a policy document of the Ministry of Health that spells out the rights and responsibilities of patients and health workers
  • Development and application of a tool on financial monitoring and accountability in the health sector
  • Building the capacity of member agencies in human rights advocacy, and patients’ safety issues in collaboration with the International Alliance of Patients Organizations. Organisations that benefited from this among others include Joyce fertility Centre, UNHCO
  • Have held press conferences on different aspects
  • Organising a Civil Society Consultative Meeting on the National Health Insurance Scheme in April 2009.

About UNHCO

Uganda National Health Users/Consumers Organisation (UNHCO) is a not-for-profit Non Governmental Organisation, established in July 1999 to act as a formal voice for all consumers of health related products and services in Uganda. UNHCO seeks to initiate constructive engagement among policy makers, providers and consumers of health services to advocate for mutual health rights and obligations for quality healthcare services in Uganda. UNHCO is at the forefront of policy development and represents civil society at the Health Policy Advisory Committee (HPAC) at the Ministry of Health and Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCM).

6 comments

  1. Arnold Josephs Kituyi

    Hi Partners,

    I work with Better HAG Uganda, an NGO whose mandate is to reverse the skyrocketing maternal, neonatal and child mortality, improve sexual reproductive health and rights most especially among women and girls, reduce HIV/AIDS incidence and prevalence as well as support the OVC.

    I have read through the VHR profile and gotten instantly interested. I was therefore wondering if we can be part of this coalition as we seek to join efforts in bettering the health of Ugandans.

    Regards

  2. Dear Arnold,
    We are glad that you visited the UNHCO site.

    Voices for Health Rights is open to new membership. Is it possible for you to come to UNHCO offices for us to take you through the process of joining the VHR coalition.

    Waiting to hear from you,

    Communications Officer – UNHCO

  3. I’m a Public Health Officer,
    I like your work.
    Keep it up!

  4. juliet Bamulangeyo

    thanks for the good work,keep up the fight to reduce maternal mortality in Uganda.

  5. VIOLATION OF PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO HEALTH IN Uganda demands for a tall order from our leaders in whose custody we surrender every after five years, we brave long lines, the rain or sunshine not to receive a could shoulder!

    The continual neglect on patients as being demonstrated by health workers including doctors, nurses, midwives and specialists, has become a general cause for concern among the citizens.” Accordingly the poor treatment meted on patients by the health workers is a total violation of their right to health and it is incumbent on various authorities to intervene and right the wrongs. By the way ins’t it time a law was in the offing?

  6. Government Arm’s delay to make, pass and implement Health related laws violates Health rights!

    Health and medical Right’s violations in Uganda, is evidently on the increase, at least every day a Patient dies due to unquestionable circumstances in urban health centres, the rural health centres blame it on fate and yet the policy, law and institutional framework to redress the impasse is none existent.

    Medical law and practise is wanting in Uganda only relegated to a medical professional body. Health rights are clouded either in the magistrates and high court in the Civil suites jungle. A high Court’s Health rights division is a must have for our Country.

    In the least, Uganda can settle for a health Rights violation Tribunal to exclusively entertain medical concerns that are but not limited to stealing of newborn babies, switching newborn babies, illegally soliciting for money in public health facilities that are purely free, misallocation of PHC funds, vandalising health facilities’ property, denial of patients from health services and goods et al.

    I opine that it’s incumbent on any public conscious person to always be on the look out for a non-existence or a violation of a law that would otherwise uphold health rights in Uganda.

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