Govt Urged to Prioritise Healthcare Access in Conflict-Affected Areas

The government has been implored to prioritise access to health care in conflict-affected areas in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), on the International Day of Peace, noted that the theme for this year’s commemoration “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world,” highlights the devastating impact of Covid-19.

The organisation said the pandemic has made it necessary not only for Zimbabwe but for all nations to collaborate in order to provide vulnerable persons living in conflict-affected areas with access to health care.

“This year’s theme seeks to highlight how the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has made it necessary for all nations to collaborate in order to provide vulnerable persons living in conflict-affected areas with access to health care. A sustained global ceasefire is necessary in order to ensure that persons living in conflict-affected areas have access to life-saving vaccinations and COVID-19 treatment,” ZLHR said in a statement.

“Moreover, the theme emphasises how inclusive and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines is important for ensuring sustainable peace and development. Global peace is intrinsically linked to the goals of equality, justice, social inclusion and sustainable development. The global surge in stigma and discrimination that has accompanied the pandemic has threatened the progress made towards global peace at a time when unity is essential for saving lives from succumbing to COVID-19.”

ZLHR urged authorities to ensure that all persons are protected from violence and conflict. In terms of section 52(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, In which it is enshrined that everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right to freedom from all forms of violence from public and private sources.

“The State has an obligation to take preventative steps that are designed to protect everyone from all forms of violence. Sadly during the last year, members of the public have fallen victim to acts of violence perpetrated by State and non-State actors. Although the State has an obligation to adopt measures to prevent domestic violence, in terms of section 25(b) of the Constitution, such acts of violence continue unabated,” the statement read.

“Government has an obligation to put in place and enforce measures that promote peace in the public and private spheres. These measures should include awareness campaigns aimed at combating the beliefs and norms that perpetuate the harmful practice of domestic violence, as well as reforming errant State institutions that have been at the forefront of perpetrating acts of violence.”

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology

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