Access to Essential Medicine as Part of the Right to Health in Africa: Access to Essential Medicine Under International Human Rights Law, the Case of Kenya and South Africa


  • Edward Halle


Access to health is a right under international human rights law. Since access to essential medicine is a core component of health, access to essential medicine should therefore be considered equally as a right. Essential medicine offers a cost-effective solution to many health problems in Africa; however, its access constitutes a major problem plaguing the continent. While many strategies have been unsuccessful over the years to solve this problem, African countries like Kenya and South Africa are increasingly applying a human rights-based approach in increasing access to essential medicine. This approach has increased access of essential medicine to the population, most of whom are poor, increased accountability of states toward their international obligations, and empowered the population to take action to assert this right against the state.