Almost one and a half years since the first Covid 19 confirmed case the South African government is yet to provide a satisfactory plan on how to vaccinate over four million undocumented (immigrants and homeless) individuals.
According to Section27 of the Constitution of South Africa, the current government failed to explain the strategy of vaccinating undocumented citizens is a clear violation of the right (regardless of their citizenship) to access free primary health care services.
By the way, even Uniform Patient Fee Schedule (UPFS which was developed to provide a simpler charging mechanism for public sector hospitals, states that “refugees and undocumented migrants from Southern African Development Countries states who go to the hospital in SA are entitled to be treated in the same way as SA citizens and to be tested to determine their ability to pay for services.”
Few months since the government has been conducting Covid 19 vaccine drive, still, the country health senior authorizes are yet to explain the strategy of vaccinating undocumented citizens.
Migrants and refugee representatives in South Africa have lambasted the government for not effectively and decisive share a plan that is known by everyone.
ZimCommunitySA chairman, Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena told JHR that his organization is still waiting for the system that will ensure that all willing undocumented migrants will be vaccinated.
‘’President Ramaphosa promised that government will create a system on how undocumented migrants will be vaccinated. At this stage, we have not heard or seen any directive information in relation to undocumented people is not yet out. We will hope that the Minister of Health is going to issue that directive on how the undocumented won’t be vaccinated like everyone else.’’ said Mabhena
Upon realizing that the vaccination of undocumented individuals (which is right health) more especially foreign USAID last week announced that the CIPLA Foundation has put together fairly enough resources to contribute towards vaccinating everyone regardless they have documents or not.
According to USAID Senior Development Outreach and Communications Adviser, Victoria Stoffberg, the CIPLA Foundation donated purpose-built vaccination stations and resources are compliant with social distancing requirements, and provide cover and shelter for people waiting in queues before and after vaccination.
Apparently, the modular units integrate an administration the point, where a person’s data is captured and verified, and a vaccination point that facilitates the easy and swift vaccination process.
Department of Health, Department of Social Development and National Coronavirus Command Council are the only entities to whom in their care lay the power to ensure that undocumented individuals’ human right to basic health and vaccination are realized.
Our attempts to get a comment from the Department of Health, Department of Social Development were not successful.