14 January 2013

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been disturbed to hear reports  alleging sexual violence against a patient at a Department of Health facility in Eshowe, KwaZuluNatal, where our organisation is also working. MSF strongly condemns any form of sexual violence and calls for the sanctity of medical facilities at all times.

MSF is composed of health professionals , who  carry out their work with respect for the rules of medical ethics, in particular the duty to provide care without causing harm to individuals or groups. Those working for MSF treat their patients with dignity and respect, and the organisation promotes the provision of high quality medical care to all. MSF is therefore particularly outraged at the added breach of trust involved  when sexual violence  is  perpetrated  at  any health facility.

In support of  all  survivors , MSF stands with the community against any form of violence and counts on their support to work towards an environment where sexual violence is not tolerated. The organisation demands that local health authorities and the justice system continuously  facilitate the safety of patients in health facilities, in order  to protect the public's trust in the health system. MSF also reiterates its commitment to support the Department of Health in improving delivery of health services in its facilities, and to ensuring that patients are respected and well treated.

Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organisation working in South Africa since 1999. In 2011, MSF opened an ‘HIV and TB incidence reduction’ project in the Eshowe and Mbongolwane areas of KwaZuluNatal. Working with the Department of Health and other partners, this project aims to reduce the amount of new HIV and TB infections, in a province that has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world.