Right to health is a human right
As people observed World AIDS Day last Friday, regional stakeholders used the opportunity to reaffirm that the theme, 'Right to Health' is a fundamental human right.
Celebrated on December 1 each year, World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with the disease, and commemorate those who have died.
In his message to the region, UNAIDS Latin America and Caribbean Regional Support Team Director Dr Cesar Nunez said that the right to health goes beyond access to health services and medicines.
"It is also linked to a variety of important rights such as access to a comprehensive and quality education, good nutrition, and healthy working conditions. Fulfilling the right to health enables everyone to fulfil their promise and their dreams," said Nunez.
Interim chair of the Caribbean Regional Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (CRN+) Winfield Tannis-Abbott urged Caribbean states to accelerate progress toward fulfilling the commitment made through the Sustainable Development Goals to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages.
IMPACT OF DISASTERS
"As we observe this day, we must pause to remember how the recent natural disasters in our region have exposed the need for policies and planning to ensure the availability of medicines and HIV services in emergency contexts. Assessments must be done now on the impact of these disasters on countries' HIV responses," he said.
Secretary-General of CARICOM Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said that the region has made significant strides in its efforts to reduce the incidence of HIV and AIDS, stating that "today, six new countries will be certified as having achieved the target for elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV - Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and St Kitts and Nevis. That is just the latest evidence that the goals are attainable, particularly with the requisite support from our international partners."