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The Millennium Development Goals

The Health Professionals

Rubina Sohail
Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Lahore
Right to Health - Evolution

 Universal Declaration of Human Rights -1948

International media barely reported

 2005: Now, the world’s most translated document

By the year 2000 - Goal: “Health for all”

 Attention to economic, social and cultural rights
 Commitments: Majestic failure to live up to expectations
 September 2000
Reduce poverty & hunger by half by the year

 MDGs
Eight targets - Help meet these basic needs for
most people

“One of the most striking features of the Millennium

Development Goals is the prominence they give to
UN Special Rapporteur Paul Hunt
The Millennium Development Goals

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Promoting & Protecting - Right to Health

2002 - Rapporteur
For promotion and protection of the right to health

 Raise the profile of health as a fundamental human right
 Increase jurisprudential understanding of the right to health.
 Identify good practices on how the right to health has been
respected, protected and fulfilled
MDGs – Ground Situation

 Slow & uneven progress towards MDG targets

 At the current rate, many may be missed altogether

 The mere existence of MDGs does not empower

the poor people & governments

 The government can provide an arena for critical

“Participation can transform country-owned strategies

into development strategies owned and implemented

by a wide range of stakeholders,

making them more effective & sustainable”

The Role of Health Professionals

 Health professionals are both victims and

perpetrators of human rights violations

 Constitute an essential element in ensuring

the fulfillment of the right to health

 Concern about the role of health

professionals in human rights violations in
the context to stigma and discrimination
Health Professionals – Current Situation

 Minimal awareness amongst health care

professionals for health as a human right
 Need to create a platform for human rights
concerns within the medical profession
 Need for a paradigm shift for health
Health Professionals – The Way Forward

 Compassion Guided by medical
code of ethics
 Good clinical practice

 Broaden perspectives
 Increase responsibilities
 Protect and fulfill the human rights of
individuals based on universal standards
Workshop on ‘Poverty, RH & the MDGs’
31st March 2005 (Islamabad)


 Information, prevention, diagnosis &

treatment for STIs and HIV/AIDS

 Training and commitment of health

professionals to
– Ensure that rights of their patients are respected
– Correct medical ethics are adhered to
Workshop on ‘Poverty, RH & the MDGs’
31st March 2005 (Islamabad)

 Strengthening of health systems

 Policies for availability of EmOC
 Increasing the number of SBAs
 Inclusion of the sexual and reproductive
health in the future implementation of the
WSRR Project - Pakistan


 Duration: 3 years
 Objectives
– Development of code of ethics
– Sensitization
– Inclusion in curriculum

 Activities
WSRR Project - Pakistan

Lessons learnt
 Limited awareness in health professionals and
medical students about WSSR
 Reluctance to discuss
 Need of capacity building
 Medical students’ response was encouraging
Health Professionals & MDGs

 Awareness & sensitization
 Defining roles
 Capacity building
 Participatory approach for achieving goals

 EmOC
 Sexual & reproductive rights
 RH for all
Health Professionals & MDGs

Planning for the future

 Inclusion in curriculum
 Teaching medical students
 Sensitizing for the future
 Weightage in assessment
 Hands-on approach