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World Health Day 2024 “My Health, My Right”: CNDH calls for facilitating the effective enjoyment of the right to health

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Excerpt from the Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization

The world commemorates on Sunday 7 April 2024, World Health Day (which falls on April 7 of each year). This year’s theme, “My Health, My Right,” was chosen to champion the right of everyone, anywhere, to access quality health services, education, and information, as well as safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

Ms. Amina Bouayach, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), emphasized that the effectiveness of the right to health can only be ensured within the framework of a State that defends and guarantees this right, despite imbalances related to its enjoyment and access.

Recognizing the importance of the right to health, which affects and is affected by citizens’ ability to enjoy their other rights, the CNDH launched a series of meetings and consultations in October 2019. These efforts culminated in the publication of a thematic report entitled “The Effectiveness of the Right to Health in Morocco… Challenges and Ways for its Strengthening” in February 2022.

This report presents more than 100 recommendations for effective and equal access to the right to health. They are categorized into legislative recommendations, recommendations related to the governance of the health sector, and those related to strengthening the preventive approach, etc.

The report proposes strengthening the governance of the health sector by managing hospital structures, human and financial resources, and the national pharmaceutical industry. It advocates for adopting a health system based on primary health care to address the problems and the high cost associated with a hospital-centric approach. The report also emphasizes the importance of prioritizing vulnerable groups, particularly mothers and children, reproductive and sexual health, persons with disabilities, the elderly, migrants and refugees, psychological and mental health, and comprehensive health coverage.

While Morocco has a legal framework that outlines the right to access health treatments and services, the CNDH stresses in its thematic report that the efforts should focus on transforming the objectives of existing law. The aim should shift from merely regulating the health sector and access to its services to facilitating the effective enjoyment of the right to health. The CNDH believes that promoting the right to health for all citizens should be based on a national health strategy integrated into the state's general policy.

Download the full text of the report (Available in Arabic)

Download the report summary (Available in Arabic)