South Africa: Leave No One Behind - We Must Urgently Address Vaccination of Undocumented Migrants and Asylum Seekers

analysis

We call on Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi to do the right thing and follow international guidelines to ensure the Covid-19 vaccination programme is inclusive. Without this we will fail to achieve population immunity, variants will continue to emerge and we will all suffer. Civil society and the research community are here to help, but we need a seat at the table.

Everyone, everywhere has the right to the highest attainable standard of health. But we don't have to look too far to be reminded of how many people living in South Africa are left behind due to our failures to ensure not only timely and appropriate healthcare, but also the underlying determinants of health.

Our track record is pretty deplorable and the ambitions of Universal Health Coverage feel further from our reach than ever, as demonstrated by ongoing public health crises, including: the Life Esidimeni tragedy; the fight to provide compensation for poorly paid (former) mineworkers living with silicosis across southern Africa; the ongoing struggles of people criminalised for selling sex when trying to access healthcare; the shameful Digital Vibes corruption allegations; and the current efforts to overcome the backlog in access to cancer treatment owing to, among other...

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