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

Ref: 04/2020

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concluded on Thursday, 06 February 2020, the tenth training course on “Human Rights and Mechanisms to Promote Right to Health”. The 20-hour-training course was held at Lighthouse Restaurant Training hall on 29-30 January 2020 and 05-06 February 2020, with the participation of 24 female and male medicine students from the Faculty of Medicine at Islamic University in Gaza and in coordination with the Palestinian Forum for Medical Research (PFMR).

This training course is the second of this kind in 2020 within PCHR 3-year project (2019-2021) “Promote, Respect, and Fulfill the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health in the Gaza Strip” implemented in partnership with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) and funded by the European Union. The project aims to improve access to healthcare, legal counseling and legal assistance for 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.  A total of 8 training courses will be held during 2020, 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, by 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, raising awareness on the proper mechanisms to defend and promote their rights and building the capacity of a medical crew e able to provide proper health care, in accordance with human rights standards.

This project complements PCHR’s efforts to improve the health situation across the Gaza Strip in light of the catastrophic conditions due to several factors, including: the Palestinian internal division; Israeli ongoing closure and military escalations in 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 have aggregated as result of the acute shortage of medicines and medical devices, lack of specialized medical professionals and beds at hospitals. The threat of , a collapsing health sector, is particularly worrisome in light of high unemployment and poverty rates, with 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, highlighted that PCHR has always paid special attention to the right to health since its establishment and hopes that this cooperation with the health sector would continue to serve human rights causes and the right to health.

Othman Agha, Head of PFMR, thanked and appreciated on behalf of Islamic 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 in medicine students’ best interest, improving their knowledge in human rights.