As the United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO), we are angered by the ignorance and inhumane treatment by the health workers at Saint Barnabas Hospital in Libode, Eastern Cape. Refusing to pay attention to a sickly person is something else but refusing to render the necessary help for a rape victim is grossly inhumane.
Rape issue is a very sensitive matter and the more you do not follow all the necessary precautions is the more the crucial evidence can be missed and for a doctor to refuse to treat a victim is not acceptable at all.
It takes a lot of courage for a victim to take the step of seeking assistance and to shun the victim kills the victim and this exacerbates the stigma of the gruesome act.
UDEMWO is calling upon the Health MEC in the Eastern Cape to get thorough investigation into the matter and punitive measures should be put in place for those involved.
Doctors or any other health workers should remember, they are at hospitals to deal and help patients and if they are unable to help community members in time of need, this means they are in a wrong field and must go elsewhere and do as they please.
Statement issued by Thandi Nontenja – UDEMWO Secretary General