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UN expert to probe rights dimension in health financing and the fight against tuberculosis in Azerbaijan

GENEVA / BAKU (14 May 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Anand Grover will visit Azerbaijan from 16 to 23 May 2012 to assess issues related to the realization of the right to health in the country, including specific human rights dimensions of health financing, tuberculosis (TB), and health care in prisons and detention centres.

“I will particularly examine the interaction between the right to health and TB prevention, treatment and care in the country, where TB is a major health problem and rates of multiple drug resistant strains are among the highest in Europe,” Mr. Grover said, announcing the first mission to Azerbaijan by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor the implementation of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

“TB is a key issue for both public health and human rights in Azerbaijan. People’s vulnerability to TB and their access to diagnosis, treatment and care are all intrinsically linked to their ability to exercise their human rights” the independent expert said. “Critical issues such as stigma and discrimination should be on the top of the agenda, if there is any fair chance to curb the TB spread”.

Mr. Grover, who visits Azerbaijan at the invitation of the Government, will meet with Government officials, members of Parliament, international community, medical practitioners, as well as with civil society representatives.

The UN Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions on the visit at a press conference on Wednesday 23 May at 09:30, at the Hyatt Regency, Baku (Shamaxi Room).

After his visit to Azerbaijan, Mr. Grover will travel to Tajikistan on a fact-finding mission from 24 May to 1 June. Further details to follow.

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to help States, and others, promote and protect the right to the highest attainable standard of health (right to health). Anand Grover (India) is co-founder and Director of the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit and the Senior Counsel in India.

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Health/Pages/SRRightHealthIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country page – Azerbaijan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/AZIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact Jamshid Gaziyev (+ 41 794444917 / srhealth@ohchr.org), or in Baku, Kamran Baghirov (+994 124970869 / kamran.baghirov@ohchr.un-az.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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