Justice and Universal Access to all: UNDP and Partners Join hands to Increase Access to Health Services

October 16, 2019

Participant in the workshop from civil society organizations working on HIV support services and legal aid groups, and representatives from Sudan Ministry of Justice. Photo/UNDP

Civil society organizations in Sudan have played a major role in campaigning for the rights of individuals to receive the best standard of health services and attain equality and non-discrimination against patients.  

Cognizant of these efforts, a three-day workshop on October 13th was organized by UNDP, Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health to bring together stakeholders working in the fight against HIV/AIDS to strengthen the existing partnerships between these respective ministries, the legal sector in Sudan and People Living with HIV Association.

The workshop also intends to increase the understanding of how human rights relate to HIV and shed light on how human rights are enshrined in national legal frameworks and explore ways to support the rights of People Living with HIV (PLHIV).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop Mr. Mowaiya Hadad representative of the Ministry of Justice asserted his ministry’s commitment to partnering with all stakeholders to ensure justice and access to all “ The Ministry of Justice is committed to supporting all efforts that ensure the dignity and rights for individuals in receiving access to first aid in all hospitals and health care units . The ministry is also committed to ratifying all regional agreements related to ending stigma against HIV/AIDS patient. We are therefore working at different levels to achieve universal access to all patients especially those in rural areas.”

In his statement UNDP HIV, Health and Development Policy Specialist for Arab States  Mr. Elfatih Abdelraheem affirmed that  “These partnerships are examples of the coalitions of change strongly  needed to end all discrimination targeting individuals in Sudan. We hope by the end of this workshop that all participants share their knowledge and experience on how to empower People Living with HIV to fulfill their rights and best utilize the opportunity of the planned legal reform in the country to ensure protection of the human rights of PLHIV.  We also hope that we together, we are able to develop an Action Plan to support access to legal and health services to all patients.”

Despite the global decline in the HIV new infections, the Arab region currently has one of the fastest growing epidemics. The spread of HIV in the Arab States has been driven by poverty, unemployment, war and conflict, population movements, gender inequality as well as sexual and gender-based violence. In addition , violations of HIV related human rights through punitive laws and practices is also wide spread in the region,  rendering this event of extreme importance during the transitional period in Sudan.