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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

‘UNETHICAL HIV TESTS ON CHILDREN’

The Swaziland Ministry of Health is to investigate a report that a Manzini-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) is allegedly testing children under the age of 12 for HIV without parental consent in order to reach their quotas. 

The Sunday Observer newspaper in Swaziland reported (16 April 2017) that employees of the organisation which it did not name were upset at having to test young children to reach their monthly quotas.

The newspaper said it was alleged to have happened over the past weeks in Nhlambeni, Madvuma, Mkhweli, Mpumakudze and Ngewini. 

It quoted one unnamed employee saying, ‘We get away with this because these are rural communities. With the area being rural, most people are ignorant of their rights and relent after we plead with them to assist us with bringing random children into our confidence to be tested.’

The source said employees feared for their jobs if they did not do this. The director of the organisation denied the claims.

The Swazi Director of Health Vusi Magagula told the newspaper, ‘These are serious allegations that need investigation.’

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