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For Immediate Release

PHR Refutes False Report from Zimbabwe State-Controlled Broadcaster

Cambridge, Mass - 12/24/2008

PHR refutes false reports from Zimbabwe’s state-controlled broadcaster, ZBC News, on the activities of the highly-respected organization, which recently undertook an assessment of the country’s collapsed health care system.

"Yesterday, ZBC News falsely reported the exposure of ‘four bogus physicians for human rights’ and falsely accused PHR of aiding the opposition," stated PHR’s CEO Frank Donaghue. "PHR is an independent, nonpartisan organization and does not support or act on behalf of any political party in Zimbabwe or elsewhere. We came to Zimbabwe for the sole purpose of assessing the country’s health system, which even the government has acknowledged as a legitimate reason for being there.

Four individuals from the U.S. and South Africa – including two physicians who are experts in public health – comprised PHR’s team. We examined how the cholera epidemic is a symptom of a collapsed health system and decayed sanitary infrastructure, especially in urban areas that house the poor. In keeping with our mission, members of our team met with a range of ordinary citizens as well as practitioners in Harare and rural Zimbabwe who are working on sanitation, maternal health care, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, the nutrition and food crisis, and other issues of public health. Our purpose was not to engage in political activity, but to offer an objective assessment of the serious and systemic public health issues faced by the people of Zimbabwe. The team has safely returned home; PHR’s report will be forthcoming."

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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