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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
on health and human rights violations in Zimbabwe
Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR)
March 27, 2007
call on all medical, nursing and other health professionals, health
human rights activists and others across the African Continent and
around the world to join us in:
all human rights abuses in Zimbabwe,
for the protection and promotion of the health and human rights
of all Zimbabwean citizens irrespective of their political affiliations,
that the health care system and public health situation in Zimbabwe
has spiralled to a CRISIS
- urging Zimbabwean
state officials to refrain from denying its citizens access to
acceptable medical treatment.
events in Zimbabwe have grabbed the headlines of the world press.
The political significance of the events has overshadowed the stark
reality that human rights abuses are being blatantly carried out
by government agents, including the right to healthcare (to receive
treatment regardless of political affiliation).
In addition to
prominent political opposition figures whose injuries have been
publicised in the international media, there are hundreds others
who have been injured, maimed and traumatised.
best efforts, health professionals in Zimbabwe are placed in an
impossible position as they are prevented from treating "politically
unacceptable" citizens. Efforts taken by health professionals
to document and prevent human rights abuses meet with further intimidation
by security forces. The treatment of the leader of the opposition,
Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, on the night of his assault illustrates this
situation. After his arrest and subsequent assault he collapsed
while being held in police cells. He was taken to the Accident and
Emergency Department of the government Central Hospital at 03:00hrs.
The A&E department was cordoned off. A junior medical officer
on duty was made to review him in the presence of armed police,
which he did superficially without reference to senior colleagues.
He did not implement effective management of Mr Tsvangirai’s injuries
so that the latter was released back to the police despite having
lost sufficient blood to lose consciousness again the next day.
He was eventually treated at a private hospital where he required
a blood transfusion.
Two senior members
of the opposition, Sekai Holland and Grace Kwinjeh, who had been
tortured were prevented from going to South Africa for medical care
even though they had not been charged for any offence.
rights abuses compound the already fragile living conditions of
people in Zimbabwe where the life expectancy for women is now 34,
the lowest in the world, maternal mortality is rising, 21% of adults
have HIV, unemployment stands at 80% and inflation runs at 1700%.
People do not have the funds to buy medication and good nutrition
is almost impossible to afford, especially for the poor who may
not have family outside the country providing remittances.
a signatory to the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. All of these contain the
reference to the right to health. The Zimbabwean Government must
therefore comply with their obligations in terms of these charters.
The crisis in
Zimbabwe is not unique; health professionals across the whole continent
are faced with similar situations and look to other health professionals
to be the first to come to their support.
Tutu correctly said ‘We Africans should hang our heads in shame…how
can what is happening in Zimbabwe elicit hardly a word of concern
let alone condemnation from us leaders of Africa?’
is time leaders of the health professions in Africa stand united
and make it clear that they will not remain silent in the face of
abuses of health and human rights in Zimbabwe and elsewhere.If
you are concerned about health and human rights violations and the
situation in Zimbabwe, the time to speak is now. SEND YOUR E-MAIL
SUPPORTING THIS PETITION TO firstname.lastname@example.org
and copy it to the Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZiMA) -
email@example.com. The petition,
bearing the names of all those who lend their support to it, will
be delivered to the office of the President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert
Mugabe and to the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David
is raised and circulated by the Zimbabwean Association of Doctors
for Human Rights (ZADHR). ZADHR is a non-partisan and non-political
professional association for doctors and other health professionals
Visit the ZADHR
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