Right to Health is the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Right to health extends to ensuring clean water, sanitation, food, nutrition and through a comprehensive system of healthcare. State parties are enjoined to reduce infant mortality, improve child health, respect women’s reproductive health and protect against harmful traditional practices (such as female genital mutilation). The right to health is a fundamental human right which encompasses the right to access healthcare and underlying determinants of health.
The right to health is accorded recognition by several international treaties to most of which Nigeria is a party. The most important of these treaties are the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination (CERD), the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Nigeria is also a party to two health-related civil and political rights treaties, namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The Commission, in furtherance of its mandate to deal with all matters relating to the promotion and protection of human rights, has identified some thematic areas of focus which includes the Right to Health. The thematic area is comprised of dedicated Staff forming a thematic team charged with the responsibility of promoting, protecting and enforcing the right to health as safeguarded by the various human instruments. The team is also charged with the responsibility of liaising and cooperating with local and international organizations on right to health with the purpose of advancing the promotion and protection of same, undertaking studies and making appropriate recommendations to the Commission, promoting an understanding of public discussions of right to health issues in Nigeria among other functions which may be prescribed from time to time.