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PCHR Concludes Ninth Training Course on “Human Rights and Mechanisms to Promote Right to Health”

Ref: 01/2020

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concluded on Tuesday, 21 January 2020, the ninth training course on “Human Rights and Mechanisms to Promote Right to Health”. The 20-hour-training course was held at Lighthouse Restaurant Training hall from 13 to 21 January 2020, with the participation of 25 female and male medicine students from the Faculty of Medicine at al-Azhar University in Gaza.

This training course is the first of its kind in 2020 within PCHR’s European Union funded project “Promote, Respect, and Fulfill the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health in the Gaza Strip”. The 3-year (2019-2021) project is in partnership with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS). The project aims to improve access to healthcare, legal counseling and legal assistance for a number of Palestinian patients; to mainstream the culture of international human rights and humanitarian law, particularly the right to health, by building the capacities of those working in the health sector; and to promote improved monitoring, documenting and reporting of violations of the right to health.  It should be noted that 8 training courses will be held during this year targeting 200 members of the medical personnel and activists in the Gaza Strip.

This training course comes as part of PCHR’s long-term efforts in promoting and disseminating the culture of human rights, and deepening Medicine Faculty students and health sector professionals’ understanding of the right to health. It also focuses on capacity building of medical crews in human rights, particularly the right to health by becoming aware of the proper mechanisms to defend and promote their rights and by building a medical crew that would be able to provide proper health care in accordance with human rights standards to fulfill the right to the highest attainable standard of health in the Gaza Strip.

This project also comes within PCHR’s contribution to improving the health situation across the Gaza Strip in light of the catastrophic conditions due to the Palestinian internal division; Israeli ongoing closure and military escalations on Gaza; Israeli restrictions on the freedom of movement for the Gaza Strip population, particularly patients and their access to treatment in the hospitals of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and restrictions on the entry of medicines and medical devices.  As a result, Patients’ humanitarian conditions aggravated due to the acute shortage of medicines and medical devices and lack of beds at hospitals and specialized medical professionals, threatening a collapse of the health sector in in the framework of high unemployment and poverty rates and 75% of the Gaza population dependent on humanitarian assistance.

At the end of the course, PCHR held a closing ceremony where Abdul Halim Abu Samrah, Head of PCHR’s Training Unit, asserted that the course is part of PCHR’s efforts to train and raise awareness of the medical personnel.  He added that PCHR has always paid special attention to the right to health since its establishment, hoping that this cooperation would continue to serve human rights causes and the right to health.

Muhannad Abu Shammalah, Head of the International Federation of Medical Students’Associations, thanked and appreciated on behalf of al-Azhar University PCHR’s pioneering role in the dissemination and promotion of the culture of human rights.  He also praised PCHR’s efforts to promote human rights and the right to health through its follow-up with all the competent authorities to improve the health sector in the Gaza Strip.  He also emphasized that the Federation’s relation with PCHR would continue and deepen for medicine students’ best interest and for improving their knowledge in human rights.

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