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Zimbabwe Denies Citizens Right to Health

by on January 14, 2009

The new PHR report on the collapse of health systems in Zimbabwe has brought media attention to the crisis there. The Washington Post today reports:

The cholera outbreak gripping the country is just one sign of the disintegration of a once-admired health-care structure that essentially ceased to function in late 2008, denying Zimbabweans their human right to health, according to U.S.-based Physicians for Human Rights.

"Cholera is not the issue," said Frank Donaghue, chief executive of the group, which presented the report at a news conference here in South Africa. "Cholera is a symptom of a grossly collapsed health system due to the blatant disregard by Mugabe of his people."

In a related article, Zimbabwe cholera deaths more than 2,000 - WHO, the Post also says:

Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people and almost 40,000 have contracted the normally preventable disease in Africa's worst outbreak in nearly a decade, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

...U.S.-based Physicians for Human Rights called on Zimbabwe's government to hand over control of its health services, water supply, sanitation and disease surveillance to a United Nations-designated agency.

The group said the U.N. Security Council should enact a resolution referring Zimbabwe's crisis to the International Criminal Court for investigation.

Internationally, The Telegraph, in the UK, headlines an article "Robert Mugabe should face trial say US doctors".

The recommendation came in a damning report published after the group's fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe last month.

They were forced to flee after interviewing 92 health workers, patients, nurses and members of the public, and being accused by the government of being American spies.

The doctors, members of a group called Physicians for Human Rights, also concluded that the United Nations should take over the country's health system.

And in an article titled "The Horror Mugabe Doesn’t Want the World to See", ReligionDispatches.com notes that

Bishop Desmond Tutu calls for the world to take action against the regime of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and the Nobel Prize-winner has signed the preface to a harrowing new report from Physicians for Human Rights on the man-made situation that may, if ignored, match Rwanda.

Places: Zimbabwe

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