Doctors adopted a resolution on Zimbabwe after the South African Medical Association (SAMA) was tasked at the 176th Council Session in Berlin last year to prepare a document on the health situation in that country.
The hard-hitting preamble to the resolution noted ‘information and reports of systematic and repeated violations of human rights, interference with the right to health in Zimbabwe, failure to provide resources essential for provision of basic health care, declining health status of Zimbabweans, dual loyalties and threats to health care workers striving to maintain clinical independence, denial of access to health care for persons deemed to be associated with opposition political parties and escalating state torture’.
Recognising the collapsing health care system and public health crisis in Zimbabwe, the WMA called on medical associations to publicly denounce all human rights abuses and violations of the right to health in Zimbabwe.
It also noted the need to actively protect physicians who are threatened or intimidated for actions which are part of their ethical and professional obligations.
WMA urged the Zimbabwe Medical Association to invite an international fact finding mission to the country as a means for urgent action to address the health and health needs of Zimbabwe.
The WMA resolution also called for a commitment to ‘eradicating torture and inhumane, degrading treatment of citizens in Zimbabwe’.
The WMA was founded on 17 September 1947, when physicians from 27 different countries met at the First General Assembly of the WMA in Paris. The organization was created to ensure the independence of physicians and to work for the highest possible standards of ethical behaviour and care by physicians, at all times. ‘ Health-e News Service.