Using complaints to address healthcare violations

Southern Africa Litigation Centre


To assist people—in particular key populations and other people who may experience vulnerabilities—in making complaints about healthcare (e.g. discrimination, violations of rights, or poor services) in the public sector or at government healthcare facilities.

Type of Document:
Guide that details (1) the rights you have when you use healthcare services; (2) how to deal with violations of your health rights; (3) how to make a complaint about discrimination or poor services in healthcare; (4) how community organisations can support people who complain; (5) additional information on healthcare complaints processes in Botswana, Malawi and Zambia; and how to complain to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund).

Audience Intended:
Healthcare users, community based organizations, and anyone who has a complaint about healthcare services.

Population Experiencing Stigma and/or Discrimination:
Not limited, but mentions UNAIDS definitions including men who have sex with
men, sex workers and their clients, injecting drug users and transgender persons as the 4 main groups at risk of being exposed to HIV and at risk of discrimination, stigma and unfair treatment in their societies. Other populations vulnerable to discrimination are mentioned, including people with disabilities, lesbian, gay and bisexual people, women, people living in rural areas, and people who are economically disadvantaged.

Stigma and/or Discrimination:
Primarily discrimination focused, although stigma defined and mentioned throughout.

Assess and/or Address:


See p. 6 for definition and exploration of discrimination; as well as Section 3 on making a complaint, and Section 4 on information for CBOs on supporting complaints.

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