Choose wisely, live well: ‘Right to health strengthens right to life’
KARACHI: The government should provide clean environment, drinking water and health facilities to the people as they have a right to health. This was crux of the discussion on ‘Mechanism for Redressing Violations of Right to Health’, between health professionals and human rights lawyers held at Pearl Continental hotel on Saturday. The event was sponsored by the National Commission for Human Rights, Pakistan.
According to World Health Organisation, health comprises complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely absence of disease or infirmity, said Sindh National Commission for Human Rights Member Anis Haroon. She added that health is an issue of public awareness. Anis Haroon said that rights are inter-connected and the right to health and education strengthens the right to life. “We need to work out how a common man can use the law,” she said. Khan added that people should know about their rights.
The health of the people will improve if there is an improvement in their everyday lifestyle, said Aga Khan University behaviroual and social sciences division head Prof Kausar S Khan.Psychiatrist Dr Haroon Ahmed said if we want to stay healthy, we need to deal with the issue of air pollution as it causes a lot of diseases.Upcoming census: Civil society calls for govt-led awareness campaign
A Supreme Court lawyer, Shoaib Ashraf, explained that a petition can be filed against pollution, which effects physical and mental health. He added that there are a lot of hindrances in implementation of health-related laws in Pakistan but activism can help improve the healthcare system.It took Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation director Adibul Hasan Rizvi almost 16 years to get the organ donation bill passed by the assembly, shared MNA Kishwar Zehra, adding that although it was passed in 2010, it has yet to be implemented. There is rampant corruption in the government departments, she said.
Haroon said that everyone has right to information. Our people are not aware of their rights, she said, adding that electronic media should play its role in creating awareness through programmes on education and health.Since the government is callous, the civil society should build up pressure and media should highlight the issues, to force the government to take action, said Aurat Foundation resident director Mehnaz Rehman.A number of human rights lawyer, health experts and political figures attended the event.