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MIDH and GI-ESCR present reports on the right to health and access to healthcare services in Ivory Coast

MIDH and GI-ESCR present reports on the right to health and access to healthcare services in Ivory Coast

On 19 December 2023, the Mouvement Ivoirien des Droits Humains (MIDH) and the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) organised a press conference to share the findings of two research projects undertaken this year in the Ivory Coast.  

The first report denounces the privatisation and commercialisation of healthcare in the Ivory Coast, which leaves the most marginalised individuals behind and creates widespread socioeconomic inequalities. The research was based on interviews with 89 individuals in 3 localities: Cocody, Bouaké and Yopougon.

The second report is based on a participatory-action-research in Gagnoa, which included the setting up of a community-led monitoring committee in the city to monitor access to healthcare and report back on potential human rights violations in this regard. The end goal is to raise awareness on healthcare as a right as well as to fill the accountability gap. You can find this report here.

Aya Douabou, Programme Officer for Africa, and Rossella De Falco, Programme Officer on the Right to Health at GI-ESCR, presented the general objectives of the research. Two representatives of the Ministry of Health, journalists and members of civil society were also present.  

Three researchers from Gagnoa came for the event. A total of 38 people attended the press conference. 

"Much has been done; working together, the right to health can be realised. The Ivory Coast can build a strong public healthcare system that realises the right to health for all increasing the budget spent on health, in line with the Abuja Declaration, and increasing the quality of public services for all, in line with General Comment 7 of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights", said Rossella De Falco. 

"The objective of the research was to start filling in a knowledge gap on the issue of privatisation and commercialisation of healthcare in Francophone Africa where there is little data; and we wanted Ivory Coast to set the pace. We hope this initiative will inspire other actors in Ivory Coast and other Francophone countries to carry on researching and generating data on this issue", said Aya Douabou. 

During our joint research project on the impact of healthcare privatisation and commercialisation in Ivory Coast, our partner MIDH met with the Department of Legal Affairs and Litigation of the Ministry of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Health Coverage on 22 November 2023. MIDH queried the Department on whether the Ministry of Health would enforce measures against illegal private health facilities which represent most of the private healthcare provision. Following the meeting, the Ministry of Health ordered the closure of 1,022 illegal private health facilities on 6 December 2023. We believe our research made this impact because per the Ministries’ roadmap published at the start of 2023, the Ministry of Health had planned to only legalise 500 unauthorised private health facilities instead of penalising them. We are therefore convinced that the decision to order the closure of 1,022 illegal private health facilities was influenced by the queries made by MIDH as part of our joint research project. 

These joint action-oriented reports are part of larger efforts by GI-ESCR to collect information and advance advocacy on healthcare as a right, building on previous work in Kenya, Nigeria and Italy. As this theme is particularly underexplored in Francophone West Africa, GI-ESCR and MIDH vision is that the Ivory Coast will be the laboratory and exploratory pilot to galvanise social mobilisation around the right to health in Francophone West Africa.  

Following the press conference, GI-ESCR representatives held a brief meeting with three lead researchers of the Participatory Action Research on access to healthcare services in Gagnoa to be enlightened on the lessons learnt from the project. It was also the opportunity to explore avenues of pursuing the work with the community-led monitoring committee that was set up on 9 December 2023. 

In the news:   

Le Sursaut:  

Notre voie: N° 7263 du Jeudi 21 Décembre 2023 


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