As access to primary healthcare is already a challenge, especially in most rural parts of the country, residents of Degai Zulu Clan, in Faumah District, Lower Bong County, are doing everything possible to rescue their people who are dying from preventable diseases.The district has a population of nearly 30,000 due to lucrative mining businesses.Two sons of the area, Mustapha Shannon and Mohammed Massaley, who are not medical practitioners, have started constructing a seven-room clinic valued at US$100,000 for the district.Shannon told the Daily Observer that US$17,000 had already been spent on the project and he wants the government to help them fund the completion of the clinic.According to him, they were moved to undertake the project because of the way sick people were dying in the area due to the lack of a healthcare facility. “Because of that we have to take our sick relatives to Bopolu City, in Gbarpolu County for treatment. Sometimes the sick person dies on the way to seek treatment,” he said. “Taking sick people to Bopolu is very expensive, especially due to the bad road conditions, so we have to pay motorbike riders L$800.” He named children and pregnant women as the most vulnerable. “Most of our children and pregnant women have died because they were unable to get medical treatment,” he lamented.One of the most important things that Shannon stressed was the absence of medical practitioners to take care of the clinic once it is completed. “You can see we are not medical people, but because of the way our people usually die here from preventable diseases, we are putting up this project to help.”He continued, “We are going to appeal to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MHSW) to assign doctors to take care of the clinic, when it is completed.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
10 October 2002The Constitutional Court has ruled that prostitution and running brothels are still illegal. The ruling, made on Wednesday, dashed the hopes of brothel owner Ellen Jordan, who spent millions of rands in her court bids to get the laws thrown out.When Jordan, one of her employees and a sex worker were arrested for contravening the Sexual Offences Act of 1957 in 1996, Jordan took the case to the High Court. The High Court found firstly that sections of the law that render sex for money a crime were unconstitutional, and secondly that the legislation outlawing the managing of brothels should be upheld.Jordan took the rulings to the Constitutional Court to have the first one confirmed and the second overturned.However, the Constitutional Court upheld both rulings, the first outlawing prostitution, the second outlawing and brothel-keeping. The Court found that outlawing prostitution did not infringe on the rights to human dignity and economic activity.Judges in the Court were however divided over whether the ban on prostitution amounts to gender discrimination or not.Sexual double standardsOne judge, Sandile Ngcobo, arguing the majority position, said that the ban did not discriminate against women in particular, since both male and female prostitution is illegal.However, judges Kate O’Regan and Albie Sachs argued that by making the prostitute the main offender and the client the accomplice, the law “reinforces sexual double standards and perpetuates gender stereotypes in a manner impermissible in a society committed to advancing gender equality’, according to a Constitutional Court summary of the judgement.There were mixed reactions to the judgement, with some arguing that the ruling would consolidate efforts to close down brothels, and others maintaining that the ruling would not curb prostitution but would simply send it further underground, rendering any attempts to regulate the industry and improve the health and safety of sex workers more difficult.According to the Star newspaper, National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka was pleased with the judgement and warned brothels to “Close down, or we will do it for you’.Spread of HIV/AidsDoctors for Life International, called by the state as a witness, argued that prostitution “encouraged international trafficking in women, led to child prostitution, intensified the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/Aids, and was often accompanied by a high degree of drug abuse’, The Star reported.However, some have cautioned that the ruling will send the industry even further underground, without curbing it at all. The director of the Reproductive Health Research Unit, Helen Rees, said that the ruling would make it difficult to help protect sex workers against risks like HIV/Aids. “How to you access (sex workers) when you criminalise them?’ she asked.The Commission on Gender Equality also expressed disappointment over the judgement.SouthAfrica.info reporter
The new-look Wankhede Stadium was formally inaugurated in Mumbai on Sunday. However, it is still uncertain whether or not the stadium will be allowed to host World Cup matches.The venue is yet to receive a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the fire department with the chief fire officer saying they will not issue the NOC unless they are fully satisfied.The stadium recently failed a fire inspection, raising concerns that it may not be ready in time for the World Cup matches.One of the main concerns raised by the fire department was the lack of access to fire brigades to all parts of the stadium. Wankhede Stadium is scheduled to host three World Cup matches including the final on April 2.ICC president and Mumbai Cricket Association chief Sharad Pawar, who formally inaugurated the stadium, refused to comment on the issue.