Sunday, 23 November 2008

Sweet armpit, how lovely thou art


Anonymous said...

Not necessarily for publication - this is how we in the new, human rights oriented, improved! SA treat those pesky asylum seekers. Maybe you Irish need to pop over to!
City of Cape Town authorities have denied reports that volunteer doctors and nurses are not welcome in the refugee camps and have called for co-operation between volunteers and the government.

Hildegard Fast, head of provincial disaster risk management, said the government had a clinic at Blue Waters camp from Mondays to Fridays and volunteers were welcome to help at that clinic.

At the weekend, women in the camp said volunteer paediatricians had been refused entry.

Sixty malnourished children - some with ringworm, one with anaemia and four hungry newborns - are among the refugees at Blue Waters camp near Strandfontein, says volunteer Tracy Saunders.

One woman said: "We should be treated as human beings what if the children die of diseases or hunger?

"We have a three-week-old baby and pregnant women - one is about to deliver.

"We don't have the means to travel to hospital."

Another described the situation as "desperate" as there was no milk, nappies or food.

Almost two dozen women at the Blue Waters camp complained about human rights abuses after a group of volunteer doctors and paediatricians was barred from entering the camp at the weekend.

The team came to see ill children in the camp on Saturday but were refused entrance by camp management.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Peter Cronje said the doctors were welcome but should have reported to the medical officer first.

The government closed down the camp to encourage foreigners to reintegrate into local townships.

The Cape Argus team visited the camp on Sunday to talk to the concerned women.

They declined to be named for fear of victimisation, adding that the police manning it were "being abusive".

Basic food supplies were meant to be cut on Sunday and electricity supply was already off. Cronje said there were about 500 refugees there.

SAVANT said...

Thanks for this info. That's a bit rich, sin't it? What's Niall Mellon doing about all of this?