Core Concepts of Human Rights and Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups in the Namibian Policy on Orthopaedic Technical Services
Purpose: Despite a highly progressive legislation and clear governmental commitment, living conditions among persons with disabilities in Namibia are systematically lower than among persons without disabilities. This implies that persons with disabilities are denied equal opportunities to participate and contribute to society, and consequently are denied their human rights.
Methods: EquiFrame, an innovative policy analysis framework, was used to analyse Namibian Policy on Orthopaedic Technical Services. EquiFrame evaluates the degree of stated commitment of an existing health policy to 21 Core Concepts of human rights and to 12 Vulnerable Groups, guided by the ethos of universal, equitable and accessible health services.
Results: A number of Core Concepts of human rights and Vulnerable Groups were found to be absent in the Namibian Policy on Orthopaedic Technical Services, and its Overall Summary Ranking was assessed as Moderate.
Conclusion and Implications: The Namibian health sector faces significant challenges in addressing inequities with respect to its policy on Orthopaedic Technical Services. If policy content, or policy ‘on the books’, is not inclusive of vulnerable groups and observant of core concepts of human rights, then health practices are also unlikely to do so. This paper illustrates that EquiFrame can provide the strategic guidance for the reform of Namibian Orthopaedic Technical Services policy, leading to universal and equitable access to healthcare.
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