Thursday, February 11, 2010

COMMUNITY NURSES' GROUP demands release of illegally detained health workers

Nagkakaisang Narses sa Adhikaing Reporma sa Kalusugan ng Sambayanan
(Association of Community Health Nurses & People’s Health Advocates) Cellphone: 0905-3255223

The Nagkakaisang Narses sa Adhikaing Reporma sa Kalusugan Ng Sambayanan or NARS, an Association of Community Health Nurses and People’s Health Advocates condemns the illegal arrest and detention of the 43 health workers, including 2 doctors, a nurse, a midwife and 39 health workers in Morong Rizal last Saturday, February 6, 2010.

We are concerned about this illegal raid and arrest which happened during a health training of community health workers, sponsored by two non-government community-oriented health organizations, Council for Health and Development and Community Medicine Development. Foundation. The resource speakers were doctors and a nurse who are advocates of community service.

They were denied of their basic right to a call or visit by a relative or legal counsel for more than 48 hours after the illegal arrest. Only until Monday, February 8, 2010, that Commission on Human Rights Commissioner de Lima was allowed to see them. According to Commissioner De Lima confirmed that the health workers were handcuffed for 36 hours and subjected to physical and mental torture all throughout their detention.

We strongly urge the authorities to respect and uphold the rights of the health workers as citizens and providers of service. At this time when basic health care hardly reach the communities while the health conditions of the people worsen and remain unattended, these health workers prove to be the real heroes of our time. Our colleague and the rest of the health professionals, who made up the training team have willingly shared their expertise and time serving the poor as they opted to participate in the noble task of empowering our community health workers to turn the vision of “ Health in the hands of the people” into a reality.

We are extremely worried for our fellow health workers who need regular medication, good nutrition for chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and epilepsy yet continued to be detained and deprived of their basic rights. Moreover, two among the detainees are women in delicate condition being pregnant with one experiencing bleeding.

We call on our colleagues and other members of the health sector to join in the protest and condemnation of the inhuman treatment of the 43 health workers!

Uphold the people’s right to health! Stop the harassment of health workers!

Release the 43 health workers, now!

We call on all our colleagues , Let us carry on! Continue to serve the people!
Let us all defend our right to health and our democratic rights!

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Justice for the 43!