ActionSA to Include kaNyamazane Clinic Medication Shortage in Ongoing SAHRC Investigation

The kaNyamazane Clinic in Mpumalanga has been turning communities away from its doors for the past few months. The clinic staff has cited shortage of medication as the primary reason for this.

As such ActionSA will write to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to widen its terms of reference to include kaNyamazane Clinic in its ongoing investigation lodged by us that relates to the shocking conditions as found at Shongwe Hospital in Mpumalanga.

It is our contention that this shortage of medication constitutes a failure to provide access to basic healthcare which is a basic human right as enshrined in our constitution and must be taken with the seriousness it deserves. Patients’ lives are on the line if they cannot get access to life-saving medication and treatment.

ActionSA Provincial Secretary, Sifiso Sindane, who is a resident of kaNyamazane, laments that “we have always been sent away with future dates given when we should return”. As a result, he has suffered a stroke due to defaulting on his hypertension medication, which he has not been able to receive at the clinic.

Shortages of essential medicines have been a problem in Mpumalanga for years.

According to the Clinic Monitoring Report 2022 by department of Health, many people are still being turned away from the clinics without treatment, asked to come back a week later or sent to Rob Ferreira Hospital.

ActionSA believes that the inability to provide continuous and adequate supply of medicines poses an unacceptable risk to public health in the province. These persisting problems of shortages and stock-outs of essential medicines shows the ANC government’s abject failure to manage public healthcare in the province.

It is for this reason that we request the SAHRC to include kaNyamazane Clinic in its ongoing investigation and to assess how widespread this medicine shortage is across the province. Human life is at stake.