The right to the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental human right. It is indispensable to the exercise of other human rights and especially to the right to life. It is closely related to, and dependent upon, the realization of the rights to food, housing, work, education, non-discrimination, equality and the prohibition of ill-treatment, and respect of human dignity. It is also linked to the rights to privacy and family life, access to information and the freedoms of association, assembly and movement.
A multitude of factors, either intrinsic or extrinsic, may hinder or even prevent the full enjoyment of the right to health, as guaranteed by Article 12, paragraph 1, of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Ill health is caused by, and the result of, poor living conditions. It is a direct consequence of an unhealthy and polluted environment, unsafe drinking water, and undernourishment. Certain categories of the population are more at risk than others. Due to gender inequality, inadequate access to health services and goods affects, in particular, women and girls.
The right to health will suffer from the general economic climate and the degree of economic development of a state. It will also be affected by disparities between different regions within a state, in particular, between urban and rural areas. The right to health may also be affected by natural or man-made disasters. In addition, trade or financial agreements may adversely impact upon the right to health. In this respect, not only states but also third parties have a responsibility to eliminate factors and obstacles which may impede or block the full enjoyment of the right to health. The qualified medical personnel can reduce the ineffectiveness of public health care systems.
Children face particular health challenges related to the stage of their physical and mental development, which makes them especially vulnerable to malnutrition and infectious diseases, and, when they reach adolescence, to sexual, reproductive and mental health problems.
Most childhood deaths can be attributed to a few major causesacute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, measles, malaria and malnutritionor a combination of these. In this regard both the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child recognize the obligation on States to reduce infant and child mortality, and to combat disease and malnutrition.
With respect to health, States should, for instance, adopt legislation or other measures ensuring equal access to health care provided by third parties. In addition, the other actors in society individuals, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), health professionals, and business have responsibilities with regard to the promotion and protection of human rights.
Governments and health professionals should treat all children and adolescents in a non-discriminatory manner. This means that they should pay particular attention to the needs and rights of specific groups, such as children, generally, young girls and adolescent girls, who in many contexts are prevented from accessing a wide range of services, including health care. More specifically, girls should have equal access to adequate nutrition, safe environments, and physical and mental health services. Appropriate measures should be taken to abolish harmful traditional practices that affect mostly girls health, such as early marriage, and preferential feeding and care of boys.
Childrens development is affected by psychosocial and biological factors and by genetic inheritance. Poverty and its attendant problems are major risk factors. The first few years of life are particularly important because vital development occurs in all domains.
Adequate nutrition during infancy and early childhood is fundamental to the development of each childs full human potential. It is well recognized that the period from birth to two years of age is a critical window for the promotion of optimal growth, health and behavioural development.
Therefore, ICC in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the universities and the private sector launched the Continuous Pediatrics Training for Family Health Physicians and Family Health Workers programme. In 2012, a total of 848 family health physicians and health workers were reached in Ankara (3 rounds), İzmir (2 rounds), İstanbul (2 rounds) and Gaziantep. It has also received great interest and demand through-out 2013.
The main theme of the programme for 2013 has been identified as Nutrition of Infant and Toddler, Immunization, Fever and Child abuse. A series of one-day seminar were realized in Ankara, Kayseri, Mersin, Konya, Antalya, Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa and İstanbul. In 2013 total of 1.058 health professionals were reached through 7 rounds.
ICC also provided full support for the organization of First Congress of Family Health Workers, held in Antalya on 25-26 October 2013.
The Continuous Pediatrics Training for Family Health Physicians and Family Health Workers programme was carried out through 2014 as well.
The main theme of the programme for 2014 has also been identified as Nutrition of Infant and Toddler, Immunization, Fever and Child abuse. A series of one-day seminar were realized in Adana, Mardin, Batman, Maanisa, Kars and Kocaeli. In 2014 total of 1.306 health professionals were reached through 6 rounds.