The Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community1, in Article 118, requires the development of a Regional Health Policy (RHP) to proceed in the systematic follow up on the main policy areas listed in this article and to further embark on the detailing into a coherent and guiding document to advance the objectives of the treaty and to cope with current and future challenges.
Together with the EAC Protocol on the Establishment of the EAC Common Market,2 the Treaty provides the legal basis for the development and implementation of future EAC health sector strategies. The EAC Development Strategy3 and other EAC adopted Action Plans and Policies that impact the health sector provide further background and direction for the development of a RHP, i.e.
- Social Development Goals (SDGs) Goal 1, 3 and 10
- EAC Regional Pharmaceutical Action Plan (2012-2016)
- EAC Regional Intellectual Property Policy on the Utilization of Public Health-Related WTO-TRIPS Flexibilities and the Approximation of National Intellectual Property Legislation4
- Protocol of the Establishment of the Health Research Commission
- Protocol on Environment and Natural Resources Management5
- EAC Food Security Action Plan (2011-2015)6EAC Climate Change Policy7 with regard to the impact of climate on the health of the population
The EAC Partner States are signatories to a number of International Treaties and commitments/initiatives, relevant for the health sector and the industries that provide goods and services for the sector such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations and African Treaties and Agreements such as the African Union (AU); the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA) and the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD). These will also provide the legal basis and reference points for the design and implementation of the EAC Regional Health Policy. The national visions, policies, strategy documents, situation analyses, studies and statistical information were used for the conception of this RHP. The national representatives and academic institutions have corrected and/or completed the originally drafted overviews and analyses. This EAC Health Policy is the first one since the inception of the EAC Treaty.