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People’s Health Movement provides healthcare to children

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Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
FIVE-YEAR-OLD Sam not only has impaired speech but he also seems unable to grasp or follow instructions, even the most basic ones, which has been a source of concern for his mother.
Most members of his family and neighbours often refuse to watch over him whenever his mother asks for their assistance.
For this reason, Sam has been labelled as being naughty and stubborn.
Attempts to have Sam treated have not been successful because his twenty-two-year-old mother is unable to pay for the various tests required before a diagnosis can be made for him to commence any treatment if necessary.
Sam’s mother, Maureen, is at her wits’ end because she has realised that if her son does not get the correct diagnosis and treatment while he is still young, his situation is likely to worsen as he grows older.
And when compared to his two-year-old brother, who is developing normally and already talking, it is evident that Sam has developmental and mental health issues.
It is children like Sam who were the focus during the fourth People’s Health Assembly (PHA) in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 17 to 21 November where children’s health rights and access to healthcare was discussed.
This year’s meeting, under the People’s Health Movement (PHM) was held 18 years ago after the first PHA was held in December 2000. The PHM was created to deal with escalating threats to health worldwide and the shift from primary healthcare. The assembly brings together various stakeholders from around the world to share experiences, for mutual learning and to develop joint strategies to fight against neoliberal approaches to health by ensuring quality healthcare for all as a human right.
PHM Zambia publicity secretary, Felisters Chipako, who attended PHA4 explained that it was the duty of society toensure that children have access to healthcare regardless of their status, origin or background. And that can only be achieved if respective governments created action plans using the human rights approach under which the rights of children’s health are enshrined.
PHA4 resolved that the lack of resources was not enough justification by duty-bearers to neglect to provide healthcare for children but that an omission would be viewed as a violation, Ms Chipako said.
“Duty-bearers have to convincingly demonstrate to PHM that whatever resources are available no matter how meagre, are utilised for the intended purposes; of providing healthcare to children,” she said.
By adhering to the human rights approach, respective governments will enable the PHM to set a precedent that will benefit children and other beneficiaries, whose human rights are normally violated the world over.
The vision of PHM is in line with Agenda 2030 under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Number 3 which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote the wellbeing of everyone irrespective of age. SDGs work in the spirit of partnership in a sustainable way for the benefit of future generations including children like Sam.
Remember, children are our future, until next week, take care!
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