SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
In early December, the Mthatha medical depot – serving more than 300 medical facilities in the North-eastern region of the Eastern Cape for medical supply needs – faced severe supply and delivery disruptions of life-saving HIV and tuberculosis [TB] treatment for over 100,000 patients. Stripped of 70% of its workforce due to suspensions in a labour dispute, the faltering management of the depot collapsed and critically compounded existing stock shortages at the depot, hospitals and clinics in the area. Orders had not been processed, supplies not received and, ultimately, drugs not dispensed to patients most in need. As a result, the danger of treatment interruption for HIV and TB patients was a perilous reality.
After Section27 and the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) received pleas for help from distressed health care workers on the ground and with the consent of the responsible health authorities, MSF and TAC started a coordinated response. MSF hired a temporary workforce and cleared the backlog of drug orders by coordinating stock reception, order processing and deliveries to affected facilities. TAC set up and maintained a drug stock-out hotline and monitoring network to help prioritise essential drug delivery to clinics. The Department of Health complemented the MSF/TAC intervention by sending three experienced pharmacists to assist at the Mthatha depot. Read the full report here
After responding to a drug distribution crisis at Mthatha medical depot between 7 December and 24 January, the medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières /Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is handing all activities back to Eastern Cape health authorities. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will mobilize 25 volunteers to assist in the handover
COORDINATOR: BUDGET MONITORING & EXPENDITURE FORUM SECTION27 has an established programme that monitors health budgeting and expenditure, with a particular focus on HIV & AIDS and TB in national and provincial spheres of government. As part of this work, SECTION27…
24th January 2013 Re: Media Invite: Memorial service of Thabo Cele, TAC Activist TAC leader, Comrade Thabo Cele passed away during December 2012, while he was hospitalized and treated for MDR TB. Thabo Cele was one of the pioneering members…
The recent deaths of prisoners at Groenpunt and St Alban’s prisons raise serious concerns about the ability of the Department of Correctional Services to guarantee the safety of prisoners. The Groenpunt death is particularly worrying as officials are implicated in the death of the prisoner, after an assault witnessed by members of the press and during a visit by members of the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services. The use of excessive force is prohibited by the Correctional Services Act and the Constitution guarantees the right to life and the freedom and security of the person. The state, through the Department of Correctional Services, has an inescapable duty to provide safe and secure custody to all prisoners under conditions consistent with human dignity. This has been confirmed in several South African court decisions.