LHR crowdfunds for refugee denied dialysis

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Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) has started an urgent three-day fundraising campaign for Alem Bazabe Ereselo, an Ethiopian asylum seeker who is being denied life-saving treatment because she does not have valid papers, while it pursues further court action.

According to a News24 report, a judgment by the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) on 11 October supported Helen Joseph Hospital’s decision not to provide Ereselo with dialysis treatment. The fundraising campaign aims to raise enough money for Ereselo to be treated in the private sector.

In February 2019, Ereselo – who was being treated at the hospital – reached irreversible end-stage kidney failure which meant she required long-term chronic dialysis until a kidney transplant became available. The hospital, which can place a limited number of patients on dialysis, notified Ereselo that it would terminate her treatment because she was not a South African citizen and did not ‘possess verified documents pertaining to refugee status or permanent citizenship awarded’.

Ereselo approached LHR in April after which LHR launched an urgent application to get an interdict against the hospital that would prevent it from denying Ereselo the treatment. But Judge Motsamai Makume dismissed LHR’s urgent application, allowing the hospital to terminate the treatment. LHR intends to appeal the judgment but it has called upon people in the private sector and individual donors to contribute to Ereselo’s treatment in the private sector while the court proceedings continue.

News24 report

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