20.11.2016: BONELA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF HIV POSITIVE MINE WORKERS AT BCL AND TATI NECKLE MINE
The Botswana Network on Ethics Law & HIV/AIDS (BONELA) is concerned by the report found in the Mmegi Newspaper stating that when both BCL and Tati Nickle Mining Company were closed no provisions of transfer were made for the mine workers on ARVs.
The alleged failure on the part of government to put in place and in advance measures that will ensure that basic rights of mine workers are not affected by the abrupt closure of the mine will constitute a serious violation of their right to health, particularly access to treatment, their right to dignity and to be treated in a humane and non-degrading manner among other human rights.
Overlooking the likely impact of the closure of the mines on access to essential medicines such as ARVs by mine workers and consequently failing to adequately plan for this eventuality will obviously impact negatively on adherence by those on treatment and subsequently their health as some clients may be lost to follow up. In support of the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWM) we therefore call upon the government to make concerted efforts to consult and link miners on treatment who have been accessing medical care through the mines or mine schemes to other facilities and/or schemes that would immediately absorb them.
This process should include a diligent and speedy transfer of medical records for all patients in a manner that respects their right to confidentiality and dignity. We also urge miners whose rights may be violated through this process to contact BONELA without hesitation for free legal services and psycho-social support.
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