South Africa: Health Regulatory Bodies Condemn Looting

South Africa’s statutory health regulatory bodies, together with the National Health Department, have denounced the ongoing looting and violence, especially acts targeting healthcare facilities and the medicines supply chain.

“We appeal to citizens looting and destroying the healthcare infrastructure and disrupting the provision of health care to consider the long-term consequences of their actions on the health of communities.

“In a time of a pandemic of huge proportions, such acts of violence, looting and the disruption of service will simply fuel the fire,” a joint statement issued on Monday said.

The regulatory bodies are concerned about the acts of violence that are taking place at a time when medicines, including vaccines and access to healthcare services, are a necessity.

“Without health care services, the requisite medicines and vaccines, we will have unnecessary deaths and cause further pandemonium, including severe damage to the economy.”

In the statement – issued by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, Health Professions Council of South Africa, Office of Health Standards Compliance, South African Nursing Council and South African Pharmacy Council – the authorities said they are working closely with the National Health Department to restore the provision of healthcare and essential medicines, including chronic medicines and vaccines.

“We appeal to community, religious and political leaders to spread the word that these acts of criminality are not only harming the economy but are senseless and counterproductive.