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About Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights
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CHAIR PERSON'S STATEMENT:
CELEBRATING A DECADE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY IN ZIMBABWE Rutendo2_1.jpg
 
Introduction
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) is celebrating ten years of existence. It was formed in November 2002 by a group of doctors and other health professionals against a backdrop of political violence in Zimbabwe. The combined conscience of this group of men and women compelled this group – realising that as frontline witnesses to the impact of social ills - health professional had a responsibility to speak out and to engage where necessary as on behalf of the vulnerable.
 
This was not a novel concept as the famous Physicians for Human Rights organization was in existence in other parts of the world. It was a Zimbabwean, home grown response tailored for home grown problem solving.
 
 As the years have passed, the agenda of the organization has also grown to embrace the full spectrum of health and the human rights agenda. Yet from its inception, the vision of the organization has been clear:  “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health by all Zimbabweans through a health service and health service providers that promote the right to health”  
 
The position of ZADHR is unique in that it is both a professional association as well as a civil society player, using the strengths of both constituencies to advance the agenda of health as a human right in Zimbabwe.
 
 
Social Snap shot
Looking outside the window, I pause to take stock of the Zimbabwe that I live in. Electricity supply was discontinued from the central business district (CBD) recently. The supermarkets are full of goodies from within and without. Inflation is down to less than 5 %. Tobacco production is still one of the leading agricultural activity. Only half of the milk we need per year is locally produced. The back yard chicken farmer is jealously guarding his market share ahead of the festive season. “Scramble for Zimbabwe” continues in mining and cialis 5 mg italia in tourism. Some of the old buildings are receiving a coat of paint.
 
The local newspapers recount stories of gender based violence, of diarrhoeal disease in the suburbs. Maternal mortality has soared to almost 1000 per million live births. Eradication of poverty, millennium development goals (MDGs) – 2015 seems rather soon. Medical aid societies have huge billboards along major roads now, and clinics too.
 
I quickly introspect - How can ZADHR celebrate and where is our mark in all this?
 
 
Health as a cross cutting issue
The advent of the government of national unity was significant in the discourse on the agenda of health and human rights. It helped to de-politisize and de-polarize the message which the association was proclaiming since its inception. Invitations to stake holder meetings and even election onto key national health boards soon followed. The democratic space opened up to allow participation and “watch dogging.”
 
The constitution making process provided an important opportunity to close the gaps in the justiceability of the right to health under national law. The draft COPAC constitution of July 18 significantly captured the aspirations of the association and its constituency in this regard.
 
 
 ZADHR at 10 years
Here is an account of some of the milestones achieved to date-
 
·         Training and building capacity of more than 3000 health professions (doctors, nurses and commeunarbre.fr student health workers) on torture, management of victims, documentation of human rights violations and advocacy and continues to do so and;
 
·          Building health worker’s capacity to develop interventions that address violations of the right to health and assisting health workers in making right’s based input on health policies
 
·          Advocacy on conditions of prison detention and training of prison officers on human rights as well as educating more than 1000 prisoners on their rights as prisoners;
 
·          Establishing a Zimbabwe Health Students Network to get student health workers actively involved in advocacy on human rights violations.
 
·         Publication of bi-monthly newsletters, fact sheets and other relevant informative and educational material on health rights for health workers.
 
·         In 2009, ZADHR was honoured with the Jonathan Mann Health and Human Rights Award in recognition of the organisation’s work in health and human rights in Zimbabwe.
 
·         Board membership for representing civil society at the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) for Global Fund grants HIV, Tuberculosis and get cialis online Malaria, and currently serving as the alternate member.
 
 
 
Future aspirations
The role of health advocacy in Zimbabwe remains a critical component in shaping health policy and legislation as we go forward.
The act of building a culture of accountability in health financing, health systems strengthening and in ensuring the social determinants of health (food, shelter and safe potable water) remain a priority agenda item in Zimbabwe remains key.
 
Personal remarks
 
Allow me, in conclusion, to thank the past chairpersons of ZADHR, the founding members as well the current board and membership of the association for dedication to the advancement of health and human rights in Zimbabwe as well as for their personal support.
“If I have seen further on the horizon it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”.
 
I thank you
 
DR. R. G. Bonde

 
 
Our VISION is the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health by all Zimbabweans through a health service and health service providers that promote the right to health.
OBJECTIVES
  1. To educate, empower and encourage health professionals to be knowledgeable about, curious to investigate, able to document and competent to analyze health rights and cialis 20mg tablets look there abuses thereof in Zimbabwe and the region;
  2. To lobby Government(s) to respect and folfill the right to health;
  3. To investigate and document violations of the right to health
  4. To liaise and build strong networks with domestic, regional and international medical organizations concerned with human rights; and
  5. To promote and protect the rights of members who are persecuted for promoting and protecting the health rights of others or because of their adherence to medical ethics as defined by the World Medical Association;
  6. To do all other things necessary to promote and protect the rights to health, including protection from torture, and good medical ethics in Zimbabwe and the region.
PRINCIPLES
  1. Respect for human rights, especially the right to life, right to health, freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.
  2. Accountability, transparency, consoltation of and participation by all members.
  3. The respect for and application of medical ethics and professionalism by medical practitioners.
  4. Non-partisanship in all activities.
ZADHR undertakes the following:
  1. Initiating, supporting and encouraging members and medical practitioners to offer their professional services towards the promotion and protection of human rights, especially the right to health;
  2. Monitoring government policies and legislation which may affect the right to health;
  3. Lobbying on issues of health rights with the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
  4. Publishing and circolating regolar publications on health rights in Zimbabwe, and important developments on the right to health locally and abroad.
  5. Issuing periodic public statement on important health rights issues;
  6. Arranging meetings, seminars and discussion groups involving members of the medical profession and health workers focusing on human rights issues;
  7. Engaging in strategic regional and international networking for effective lobby and advocacy on the medical profession and its role in promoting and protecting human rights;
  8. Providing a safety net for members, medical practitioners and health care givers working on health rights issues through legal and other relevant assistance; and
  9. Maintaining a database on right to health issues and the response to the same by members and medical practitioners.
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