There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments.” ― Wangari Maathai

#WorldAfricaDay2020

 Wangari Maathai was a renowned Kenyan environmentalist and political activist.

 

On 23 April, President Ramaphosa announced the easing of lockdown regulations beginning 1 May 2020. Until that time, 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.

Week Ahead

Monday 25 May 2020

Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating.

Imali Yethu, a coalition of civil society organisations including SECTION27, is meeting with the Auditor General, Kimi Makwetu to discuss the role of the Auditor-General in keeping departments and procurement managers accountable during the State of Disaster response to COVID-19.

Tuesday 26 May 2020

In the case between Alliance of Natural Health Products vs the Minister of Health and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) is admitted as an Amicus Curiae (A friend of the court) represented by SECTION27. The case will be heard at the Gauteng High Court on the 26 and 27 May. This issue in this case concerns the power of the Minister of Health to regulate complementary medicines. The TAC will demonstrate that the present arrangement is necessary to ensure that the State continues to protect the health of the population by requiring that all types of medicines and health products meet acceptable standards for consumption. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SECTION27news, for more about information about this case.

The Budget Justice Coalition is holding a Secretariat Meeting to discuss the role of international financial institutions in South Africa and explore the options and risks of taking money from these institutions, including the IMF, World Bank and New Development Bank to finance budget spending on COVID-19. The issue featured in a media statement issued by the Budget Justice Coalition earlier this month.

The Week That Was

On Thursday 21 May 2020, SECTION27 and partners issued a statement calling on the Department of Health to ensure coordinated and transparent contracting between the public and private sector in the COVID-19 health response. Read the full statement on our website.

#Bottomline for contracting with the private health care sector during COVID-19 and beyond.

The inequalities between the public and private health sectors in South Africa have become more overt since the outbreak of COVID19 hit the country’s embattled health system. We need universal health coverage – and coordination between private and public health sectors – urgently. But on what terms? Download and share the visual below.

contract, private sector, terms

Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday 19 May, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced that the phased reopening of schools will commence on 1 June 2020. In the context of COVID-19, safety preconditions are necessary before schools reopen. You can view all the safety guidelines for the reopening of schools from the Department of Basic on our website. Contact us if you do not think your school complies with these guidelines.

In Spotlight

Doctors blow whistle on medicines crisis in North West

Doctors in North West province say that only around half of the medicines on the province’s essential drugs list are currently available and that this is severely impacting the level of care they can provide. UFRIEDA HO reports.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/05/22/doctors-blow-whistle-on-medicines-crisis-in-north-west/

Here’s what the models predict about COVID-19

What the models predict about COVID-19. But beware – soothsaying has a checkered history.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/05/22/heres-what-the-models-predict-about-covid-19/

COVID-19: Concerns mount over COVID-19 stigma in KZN

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in KwaZulu-Natal increases, provincial health authorities, health practitioners and public health activists urge residents to avoid the spread of misinformation fuelling stigma around COVID-19. Nomfundo Xolo investigates.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/05/21/covid-19-concerns-mount-over-covid-19-stigma-in-kzn/

COVID-19 Report 4: Massive UK analysis of deaths from virus

This is the fourth issue of COVID-19 Report. We point you to the latest quality science on the pandemic. If you come across unfamiliar terms, there is a glossary at the bottom of the article.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/05/20/covid-19-report-4-massive-uk-analysis-of-deaths-from-virus/

COVID-19: Interview with Free State Health MEC on testing, quarantine and more

By Tuesday 19 May the Free State has conducted 19 834 COVID-19 tests. The province recorded 165 confirmed cases, 118 recoveries and six deaths. Spotlight spoke to MEC for Health Montseng Tsiu and Head of the Free State Health Department Dr David Motau about the province’s COVID-19-response.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/05/20/covid-19-interview-with-free-state-health-mec-on-testing-quarantine-and-more/

COVID-19: Lockdown takes heavy toll on SA’s TB response

Tuberculosis (TB) testing rates are down by almost half and dramatically fewer TB patients are starting treatment. Kathryn Cleary takes an in-depth look at the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown on TB services in South Africa.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/05/20/covid-19-lockdown-takes-heavy-toll-on-sas-tb-response/

80 Academics urge President Ramaphosa to expedite changes to SA’s patent laws

As the confirmed number of COVID-19 infections in South Africa climbs toward 20 000, a group of 80 leading academics, teachers and researchers have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to urge reform of South Africa’s Patents Act. We republish the letter in full.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/05/20/80-academics-urge-president-ramaphosa-to-expedite-changes-to-sas-patent-laws/

COVID-19: Life under lockdown for people living with disabilities

COVID-19 and South Africa’s lockdown has impacted the lives of people living with disabilities in ways that may not be immediately obvious. Biénne Huisman spoke to three people living with different disabilities about how their lives have changed.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/05/19/covid-19-life-under-lockdown-for-people-living-with-disabilities/