London, Tuesday 11 December 2007 - Yesterday, on Human Rights Day, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Professor Hunt, called for urgent monitoring and accountability and better coordination from all parties - developing and developed states, the international community, and the private and public actors, including pharmaceutical companies - to ensure the "Right to the highest attainable health" for all, and to fight malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that kills more than 1 million people every year.
Speaking at the first annual lecture on malaria and human rights, organised by Malaria Consortium, a member of the European Alliance Against Malaria, Professor Hunt highlighted that malaria is a human rights issue and that a right to health perspective has a constructive contribution to make in the fight against malaria.
Calling on human rights workers and health workers to collaborate through a human rights based approach to malaria, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health also said that "[t]ogether they can figure out how the right to health can reinforce existing anti-malaria initiatives and help to identify new effective anti-malaria policies, programmes and projects".
Using his experience as Special Rapporteur, Paul Hunt highlighted the key components of a rights based approach to malaria, emphasising the need for education and information, community participation - he commended in particular home based management of malaria in rural areas - research and development, the role of donors and the international community, monitoring and accountability, and gender.
In his conclusive remarks, the Special Rapporteur called on civil society organisations to take up malaria as a human rights issue. He reiterated that all actors have responsibilities and highlighted key priorities for urgent action: developing health systems and establishing accountability mechanisms.
The Lecture was attended by parliamentarians and donors, including DFID, and representatives from the media, NGOs, academia, and from the private and public sector.
Notes to Editors
Malaria Consortium is an organisation dedicated to improving delivery of prevention and treatment to combat malaria and other communicable diseases in Africa and Asia.More info at http://www.malariaconsortium.org/
The European Alliance Against Malaria is The European Alliance Against Malaria is a group of civil society organisations from Brussels, France, Germany, Spain and UK all working in the field of global health and development. The Alliance's members aim through advocacy to increase funding and improve malaria programmes, demanding rigorous and resolute action to fight malaria as part of global efforts to reduce poverty and meet the MDGs. More info at http://www.europeanallianceagainstmalaria.org/
Paul Hunt's speech can be downloaded here
For a copy of Paul Hunt's Official Report on Uganda, click here
To view related article in UN Chronicle, click here
For more info, contact Delphine Valette, Malaria Consortium's International Advocacy Coordinator: [email protected]
Photo by Jon Challicom