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What do we know about the link betweenhealth and human rights in The Gambia

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Do you know our rights as a patient in health in The Gambia

What is human right?

Every woman, man, youth and child have the human right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, without discrimination of any kind. Enjoyment of the human right to health is vital to all aspects of a person’s life and well-being, and is crucial to the realization of many other fundamental human rights and freedom.

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The Carter Center’s Human Rights Program envisions a world where all people have the freedom to equally enjoy all their human rights so as to reach their full potential and live in dignity. It advances and protects human rights by supporting individuals and nations striving to realize the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights and responsibilities enumerated by the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Health.

What is good health?

Right to health

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The right to health is the economic, social and cultural right to a universal minimum standard of health to which all individuals are entitled. The concept of a right to health has been enumerated in international agreements which include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities.

The word health refers to a state of complete emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Healthcare exists to help people stay well in these key areas of life. A resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.” This means that health is a resource to support an individual’s function in wider society, rather than an end in itself. A healthful lifestyle provides the means to lead a full life with meaning and purpose.

What are the mental and physical health?

Mental and physical health are probably the two most frequently discussed types of health. Spiritual, emotional, and financial health also contribute to overall health. Medical experts have linked these to lower stress levels and improved mental and physical well-being., People with better financial health, for example, may worry less about finances and have the means to buy fresh food more regularly. Those with good spiritual health may feel a sense of calm and purpose that fuels good mental health.

What is physical health?

A person who has good physical health is likely to have bodily functions and processes working at their peak., This is not only due not only to an absence of disease. Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest all contribute to good health. People receive medical treatment to maintain the balance, when necessary., Physical well-being involves pursuing a healthful lifestyle to decrease the risk of disease. Maintaining physical fitness, for example, can protect and develop the endurance of a person’s breathing and heart function, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition.

Looking after physical health and well-being also involves reducing the risk of an injury or health issue, such as: minimizing hazards in the workplace, using contraception when having sex, practicing effective hygiene, avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs, taking the recommended vaccines for a specific condition or country when traveling, Good physical health can work in tandem with mental health to improve a person’s overall quality of life., For example, mental illness, such as depression, may increase the risk of drug use disorders, This can go on to adversely affect physical health.

What is mental health?

Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being. Mental health is as important as physical health as part of a full, active lifestyle. Good mental health is not only categorised by the absence of depression, anxiety, or another disorder. It also depends on a person’s ability to: enjoy life, bounce back after difficult experiences and adapt to adversity, balance different elements of life, such as family and finances, feel safe and secure, achieve their full potential, Physical and mental health have strong connections. For example, if a chronic illness affects a person’s ability to complete their regular tasks, it may lead to depression and stress. These feelings could be due to financial problems or mobility issues.

A mental illness, such as depression or anorexia, can affect body weight and overall function., It is important to approach “health” as a whole, rather than as a series of separate factors. All types of health are linked, and people should aim for overall well-being and balance as the keys to good health.

Preserving health

Steps that can help people attain wellness include: eating a balanced, nutritious diet from as many natural sources as possible, engaging in at least 150 minutes trusted source of moderate to high-intensity exercise every week, learning to manage stress effectively, engaging in activities that provide purpose, connecting with and caring for other people, maintaining a positive outlook on life, defining a value system and putting it into action, The definition of peak health is highly individual, as are the steps a person may take to get there. Every person has different health goals and a variety of ways to achieve them., It may not be possible to avoid disease altogether. However, a person should do as much as they can to develop resilience and prepare the body and mind to deal with illnesses as they arise.

Your rights as a patient in The Gambia

The World Health Organisation formalised patient’s rights in 1948, “Universal Declaration of Human Right recognizes the inherent dignity” and the “equal and unalienable rights of all members of the human family”. And it is on the basis of this concept of the person, and the fundamental dignity and equality of all human beings, that the notion of patient rights was developed. In other words, what is owed to the patient as a human being, by physicians and by the state, took shape in large part thanks to this understanding of the basic rights of the person.

Patients’ rights vary in different countries and in different jurisdictions, often depending upon prevailing cultural and social norms. Different models of the patient-physician relationship – which can also represent the citizen-state relationship – have been developed, and these have informed the particular rights to which patients are entitled in the Gambia.

Right to choose: the right to choose involves patient to choose where to go and been given the choice to select the health providers from whom they want to receive health services without being manipulated by individuals or institutions

Right to access: the right to access implies that health services are available and accessible to any individual in need.

Right to information: the purpose of the patient receiving information on health education and preventable diseases in particular form is to prevent life threatening diseases such as HIV, AIDS.

Right to dignity: the patient’s right to dignity refers to the way the patient is treated, normally with full respect and considerations without discrimination against, male, female, age, ethnic or tribal origin, religious beliefs, and skin color.

Right to confidentiality: implies assuring that any information that patient shares with any doctor or nurse at any health facility will not be accessible to any unauthorized doctor and nurse.

Right to privacy: exchange of information between patient and health providers should occur in an environment where consultation will not be shared/heard by a third party without the patient’s consent.

Right to comfort: the right to comfort refers to physical and environmental facilities and examination during visit.

Right to safety: refers to patient’s protection against possible side effects of medications, including physical and mental conditions.

Right to continuity of care: the right to continuity of care implies that patients receive services and supplies of medication, laboratory tests and resupply of mediations.

Right to understand: the right to understand refers to the patient’s right to be fully aware of the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis using words the patient can reasonably understand. If needed, efforts to provide interpreter most be taking.

Right to refuse treatment: patient has the right to refuse treatment to the limits permitted by law. The patient has the right to refuse the treatment if it is known to the patient that the treatment chosen is a life threatening.

The four components of human rights

We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. The principles are: Universal and inalienable, Interdependent and indivisible, Equal and non-discriminatory, and Both Rights and Obligations.

The five responsibilities of a patient

Patients are responsible for keeping appointments. Patients are responsible for treating others with respect. Patients are responsible for following facility rules regarding smoking, noise, and use of electrical equipment. Patients are responsible for what happens if they refuse the planned treatment.

Doctors job and responsibilities

What does a physician do? To provide quality care for patients, they have extensive medical knowledge and strong interpersonal skills. They communicate with patients, nurses, doctors and other members of a care team to explain a diagnosis, determine the best course of treatment and follow up on recovery. They oversee medical staff and stay current with medical practice standards and laws.

Order tests and analyse their results, refer patients to specialists, create treatment plans, explain side effects of medications and treatment options, perform basic medical procedures, record medical history, identify symptoms and diagnose patients, provide advice for improving patient health

For further information, visit UN and WHO websites or email Dr Azadeh at [email protected] or send text messages to 00220 7774469 on working days from 3pm to 6pm only.

DR. H. AZADEH, SENIOR LECTURER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE GAMBIA, CLINICAL DIRECTOR AT MEDICARE HEALTH SERVICES.

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