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Frontline health workers being harassed

By Martha David

South Sudan Doctors Union (SSDU) said that frontline healthcare workers responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic in Juba were being harassed by some members of the organized forces.

In a statement issued over the weekend, the Union said three workers on duty including protection officer and medical student were harassed and briefly detained at gunpoint at one of the hotels in Atlabara. Area of Juba town.

The Healthcare workers were tracing some contacts of a previous case.

However, the police spokesperson Major General Daniel Justin confirmed the incident but said the police were there to calm down a tension that arose between the medical workers and some joint security forces.

The doctors Union pointed out that the violence acts against the healthcare personnel was a gross violation of human rights, infliction of fear and obstruction of duty of care.

“The SSDU strongly condemns the ill-treatment of the contact-tracing workers who have risked their lives to fight the deadly coronavirus outbreak in our nation,” the statement partly reads.

The doctors added that such acts may slowdown the response and frustrate efforts to contain the spread of the virus within the community.

“SSDU also called on the authority to investigate and take actions against the perpetrators and ensure that similar violations should not happen again in the future.” it added

 “We urge the national taskforce on COVID-19 response, especially leadership of the organized forces to guarantee security and prevent any violence against healthcare personal across the country. We request the ministry of Health and facilities administrators to take necessary measures that guarantee better protection for medical staff and patients.”  

The statement further called on members of the society to respect and treat healthcare personnel with all decency they deserve and ensure that they were not harmed or discriminated against as they exercised their duty of care.

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