How to Fight Cancer by Improving Access to Public Health Services – Gabrielle Lamourelle


Erik: Why is access such an important enabler
of reproductive rights policy? Gabrielle: So having reproductive rights or
health care rights in general is important but you need to be able Ð you need to have
access in order for those rights to actually be meaningful. In many places in the United States and many
places around the world, you may have a right on paper but if you canÕt get to the health
care facility, if you cant get the right information and you canÕt figure out how to pay for it
the right is meaningless. You havenÕt been able to actually get your health care needs
taken care of. So my work in reproductive rights in California
really solidified that concept for me and eventually played a part in the work I was
doing in Uganda helping to understand how you could include a cervical cancer vaccine
into a general vaccination program for the Ugandan Ministry of Health. With cervical
cancer, this is something that not very many women in the United States suffer from and
very few women die. But about two hundred and seventy thousand women die every year
and most of those are in developing countries. That really isÉreally hinges on lack of access.
They donÕt have access to appropriate screening. This program I was working on was trying to
understand out how you can increase access to this life-saving vaccine in a way that
doesnÕt burden the health system.

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