Case against health workers arrested for dishing out sterile water removed from roll

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Case against health workers arrested for dishing out sterile water removed from roll

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\n TMG Digital | 2017-01-24 19:26:43.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n

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\n \n \n \n Bottled water. File photo.\n \n \n \n
Image by: Steven Depolo (Flickr)\n \n \n \n

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\n The case against three health workers who landed in hot water for handing out 20ml bottles of sterile water has been removed from the court roll.\n

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The three were arrested in Marabastad‚ Tshwane‚ on January 17 while giving out the sterile water as part of the Step-Up Project‚ an HIV prevention programme aimed at people who inject drugs.

The project is run by OUT Well-being in Tshwane and is supported by the Gauteng Department of Health and the University of Pretoria.

According to the arresting officer‚ officials at the Gauteng Department of Health and the Medicines Control Council had confirmed that the provision of sterile water was a criminal offence‚ OUT said.

“Despite providing documentation and even though the National Department of Health officials‚ senior police officers and government officials intervened‚ the University of Pretoria social worker and two OUT staff members were charged with ‘Contravention of Section 22A of the Medicines and Related Substance Act 1965’ and ‘Distribution of medical instruments to be used for illegal purposes’‚” the organisation said.

“Derick Louw‚ Urell Olivier and Sukholuhle Tshuma‚ were released on bail of R1‚000 each more than twelve hours after their arrest when Pretoria’s Chief Public Prosecutor personally visited the Pretoria Central charge office in the early hours of Thursday morning to facilitate their release.

“The three were due to appear in the Pretoria Magistrates Court but the case was removed from the role‚” OUT added.

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