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.
South Africa is hosting the 18th Commonwealth Law Conference in Cape Town from the 14-18 April 2013 . Read what SECTION27’s Mark Heywood presented on the ‘Rising to new legal challenges: HIV and Human Rights.
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
On the 27th July 2012, TAC/Section27/CALS met with Gauteng Health MEC Mr Hope Papo, HOD Dr Nomonde Xundu and heads of departments.
On the agenda for discussion was a formal response to TAC’s memorandum that was delivered at the Provincial Department of Health (PDOH) on the 12th June 2012.
SECTION27 has sent a request to the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Health, reqesting him to investigate alleged violations of the right to health against the State of Qatar. In October 2010, “MR” was employed by Al Jazeera English as a Senior Editor and moved to Qatar. Following severe discrimination and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by both Al Jazeera and Qatar, MR was detained by Qatari authorities, and then unfairly dismissed by Al Jazeera and deported from Qatar in January 2011. The reason for his detention, dismissal and deportation was his HIV status. This is a direct violation of the right to health and cannot be condoned.