“If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something about it.” – John Robert Lewis

John Robert Lewis was an American politician and civil-rights leader.

Many businesses have returned to work with the easing of the lockdown from level 4 to level 3 on 1 June 2020; however, SECTION27 staff will continue to work remotely.

Our advice desk will only conduct telephonic consultations. The numbers to call or WhatsApp are 060 754 0751 or 067 419 6841.

The public interest organisations legal support hotline continues to be available to the public to contact regarding rights violations: 066 076 8845.

The week ahead

27 July

Field researcher, Patrick Mdletshe will attend the Kwa-Zulu Natal a multi-sectoral planning meeting for She Conquers, a campaign aimed at addressing adolescent girls and young women’s issues. The meeting will review the impact of the She Conquers campaign in the province.

29 July

SECTION27 will hold a virtual meeting of its board of directors.

28 – 29 July

Patrick Mdletshe will conduct interviews on issues related to the LGBTI community including access to healthcare and discrimination on Inanda FM 88.4 and UYFM 105.0 at 11 am with Sbongiseni from the Gay and Lesbian centre.

31 July

Patrick Mdletshe will attend Umkhanyakude District Command council meeting which will held at Mkhuze Council chamber at 10:00 am. the council be reviewing the progress made thus far on COVID-19 response in the district and sub-districts

The week that was

On Wednesday 22 July the Daily Maverick hosted a webinar to talk about the South African Human Rights Commission’s performance over the past 25 years. Head of Education Rights programme at SECTION27, Dr Faranaaz Veriava was a discussant on the webinar. In case you missed it, you can watch in the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=0dKra4Z7o4c&feature=emb_logo

On Friday 24 July, SECTION27s Field Researcher, Patrick Mdletshe graduated from the Tekano Health Equity Fellowship. Patrick was one of twenty-five Fellows who were selected to design & implement a social initiative. He was chosen for the fellowship because of his demonstrated leadership in challenging social determinants of health.

Through the Fellowship, Tekano aims to grow health equity leadership to tackle the profound social and economic inequities that characterise South Africa; contributing to building leaders and engaging communities across sectors and disciplines to address barriers that prevent people from leading healthy and productive lives. Congratulations, Patrick for this achievement!

Also on Friday 24 July, SECTION27’s Budget Analyst, Daniel McLaren and Equal Education’s researcher, Janes Borman presented our joint submission with the Equal Education Law Centre to the Standing Committee on Appropriations in Parliament regarding cuts to education spending to finance the COVID-19 response.

 

In Spotlight

Fear of COVID-19 has caused major disruption to healthcare, new data shows

New data points to fears of contracting COVID-19 at congested health facilities as the primary reason for people not seeking needed care and defaulting on their chronic medication, including HIV treatment. Amy Green reports.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/20/fear-of-covid-19-has-caused-major-disruption-to-healthcare-new-data-shows/

Opinion: Despite significant challenges, SAHPRA is on the right track

Recently the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority was criticised for not approving laboratory-based SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests. Spotlight Editor Marcus Low argues that despite the regulator’s capacity constraints, its flexible conservatism is something to be grateful for.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/22/opinion-despite-significant-challenges-sahpra-is-on-the-right-track/

COVID-19: NHLS reducing its dependence on “a few suppliers”

Early enthusiasm about South Africa’s strong position to scale up COVID-19 testing due to existing investments in diagnostic infrastructure for HIV and TB waned after the country found itself unable to secure adequate test materials. Steps are now being taken to reduce the dependence on just a few suppliers for these materials. Catherine Tomlinson reports.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/22/covid-19-nhls-reducing-its-dependence-on-a-few-suppliers/

OPINION: The Eastern Cape health crisis is nothing new

The healthcare system in the Eastern Cape has been on the brink of collapse for over a decade but the health department has failed to act, writes Nontsikelelo Mpulo.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/23/opinion-the-eastern-cape-health-crisis-is-nothing-new/

IN PICTURES: The difference a minister’s visit makes at Livingstone Hospital

Unhygienic conditions, as reported locally and internationally, at hospitals in Port Elizabeth prompted the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, to make a site visit to  Livingstone Hospital on Wednesday. These striking pictures show the situation at the hospital before and after the visit.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/23/in-pictures-the-difference-a-ministers-visit-makes-at-livingstone-hospital/

In-depth: The long shadow of child malnutrition in South Africa

The COVID-19 lockdown is taking a potentially deadly toll on children, with reported child hunger on the rise and unemployment at a high. Kathryn Cleary takes an in-depth look at what this means for young children and asks the experts about potential solutions.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/24/in-depth-the-long-shadow-of-child-malnutrition-in-south-africa/

COVID-19: “Extremely high levels of stress” among employees in SA

Employees in South Africa are experiencing extremely high rates of psychological distress during the COVID-19 epidemic, researchers report.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/24/covid-19-extremely-high-levels-of-stress-among-employees-in-sa/