The New Segregation
Long-term care for people with chronic illnesses and certain physical and cognitive disabilities has become an important civil rights battle ground over the last two decades. While media attention has focused on government responses to civil rights issues including anti-LGBT legislation and racial inequalities in the criminal justice system, the U.S. Department of Justice has opened more than 50 investigations into what it reports has been the segregation of people with chronic illnesses and disabilities in nursing facilities. Effectively institutionalizing people with disabilities, nursing facilities have detached an estimated 250,000 from economic opportunity and social life, despite a 1999 Supreme Court ruling that people with disabilities should only be placed in nursing facilities if medically necessary. The New York Times analyzes the push for home-based care and the DOJ’s active investigations into violations of protections secured under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Supreme Court’s 1999 decision.
“South Dakota Wrongly Puts Thousands in Nursing Homes, Government Says” (The New York Times)
“Feds: Relying On Nursing Homes For Those With Disabilities Not OK” (Disability Scoop)
Letter on results of investigation into South Dakota’s healthcare practices (U.S. Department of Justice)
“Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin Releases Report Showing ADA’s Promise of Integration is Not Being Met for Many Americans with Disabilities” (U.S. Senate press HELP release, July 2013)
(Image Credit: Thinkstock, via Disability Scoop)
Senior Azerbaijani rights activists sentenced to prison terms despite ailing health
- Leyla Yunus, 59, and her husband Arif, 60, were sentenced to eight-and-a-half and seven-year prison terms, respectively, after on charges including tax fraud, illegal entrepreneurship, and treason.
- Rights advocates argue that the couple were targeted for their human rights advocacy, with numerous other activists and journalists having been recently imprisoned as well.
- The Yunuses suffer from diabetes, hypertension, and kidney problems, worrying family and friends about their health prospects while incarcerated.
“If there were irregularities in [the] way Yunus ran her groups, the government could have pursued them through noncriminal measures. … But instead the authorities arrested them and went directly to criminal charges, despite their age and ill health.”
Read the full story at BuzzFeed News and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
(Image Credit: Facebook, via BuzzFeed News)
Cape Town campaign brings HIV testing to busy public spaces
- The Target 5000 Campaign has set up mobile tents at Cape Town’s main train station, where nurses conduct screenings for HIV, tuberculosis, and diabetes and counselors provide sexual health information and tools.
- Coordinators target busy public spaces such as train stations, shopping malls, and taxi stands to maximize convenience and visibility in a nation that still sees individuals falling through the crack as infection rates fall.
- The campaign aims to get 5,000 tested in three months as a part of its work towards UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 targets for 90% of people with HIV to know their status, 90% of positive individuals to be receiving antiretroviral treatment, and 90% of those receiving treatment to have viral suppression by 2020.
“It’s been fantastic. People are getting tested who wouldn’t typically go to a clinic for an HIV test. Over half of the people who have come to get tested are men. Many young people and people who are not aware of any signs or symptoms of disease are popping in. We’re providing early case detection and linkage to HIV care.”
Read the full story at News24.
Dubai health experts caution those afflicted with diabetes against unregulated Ramadan fasting
- A panel of doctors issued the guidance measures through the Dubai Health Authority’s Twitter Clinic (@DHA_Dubai).
- Advice included consultation with physicians about the health effects of fasting, whether the state of an individual’s condition allows for them to fast, and what precautions to take to avoid negative health impacts.
- With health conditions triggering religious exemptions from Ramadan practices, children in particular were singled out as being exempt from fasting as most suffer from high-risk type 1 diabetes.
“Diabetics who are insulin dependent, primarily, type 1 diabetics are advised not to fast — permissible by the religion — because they are at a higher risk of developing hyper or hypoglycaemia. Yet, we find that there are some patients who insist on fasting. We advise them to work very closely with their health professionals to avoid major health problems, that may lead to a diabetic coma. Type 2 diabetics can fast after adjusting their medication in consultation with doctor.”
Read the full story at the Khaleej Times.
(Image Credit: via the Khaleej Times)