South Africa Should Heed Recommendations Of HRW Report On Maternal Abuses

“If the moral test for a society is the way in which it treats its most vulnerable citizens, then the release of a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) marks a sad day for South Africa,” a Lancet editorial states.

The HRW report says that the abuse of pregnant women by health workers in South Africa “occurs because oversight and accountability mechanisms are not working in the country and calls for internal monitoring of policies, practices, and performances such as a facility-based complaints mechanism for patients and the establishment of a national office of a health Ombudsperson. These recommendations should be actioned without delay,” the editorial says, concluding, “South Africa can, and must, do more to help mothers” (8/20).