In-depth: Top 10 health issues to watch in 2022

In-depth: Top 10 health issues to watch in 2022

COVID-19 will continue to dominate headlines in 2022, but from National Health Insurance to the availability of a new HIV prevention injection, it will also be an important year for other areas of health service delivery and for health system governance and reforms. Here is Spotlight’s pick of the top ten issues to keep an eye on.

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healthcare worker washing hands

Questions over implementation of SA’s new infection control plan

Whether it is in the queue outside a community healthcare clinic, in a GP’s waiting room, or in the ICU at a private sector hospital, infections acquired at healthcare facilities pose a threat to people’s health. Nthusang Lefafa looks at government’s recently relaunched infection prevention and control plans and some obstacles to its implementation.

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No Ambulance: Waiting for healthcare at Augrabies Health Care Clinic outside Kakamas.

Health in 2021: Another tumultuous year in under a thousand words

It wasn’t rocket science when we predicted at the start of 2021 that South Africa’s biggest challenge this year would be to get COVID-19 shots into as many arms as possible. But the way it has played out with multiple setbacks and scrambling problem-solving is not something anyone could have predicted. In fewer than a thousand words, Spotlight editor Marcus Low takes a look back at a tumultuous year in health in South Africa.

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image of TB infected lungs

What is government doing to restore TB services?

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have dealt a severe blow to South Africa’s tuberculosis (TB) response. Tiyese Jeranji asked government about its plans to get TB diagnosis, treatment, and prevention services back on track.

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man getting vaccinated

Analysis: Will red tape hold back mix-and-match vaccine boosting in SA?

Unlike regulators in the United States and Europe, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority has not yet given the green light for any form of mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine boosting. We take a look at the regulatory issues standing in the way of people in South Africa who received the Johnson & Johnson jab being offered Pfizer boosters.

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A TAC activist with a banner during a march. PHOTO: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP via Getty Images

IN PICTURES: Two decades of HIV in South Africa

We reflect in pictures South Africa’s journey in the struggle against HIV since 2000.

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in the pic: contraceptives. birth control pills

In-depth: What contraceptives are available in SA and which ones are most popular?

There are a variety of tools available today to prevent pregnancy including pills, intrauterine devices, subdermal implants, injections, condoms, male and female sterilisation, and emergency contraception. Statistics suggest that people in South Africa do, in principle at least, have access to and are aware of these contraceptive methods, albeit not at the desired levels. Elna Schütz looks at what contraceptive methods are available and makes some surprising discoveries along the way about which ones are most popular.

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IN FOCUS: Spotlight on HIV

The burnt section at the Charlotte Maxeka Hospital.

In Focus: What the Charlotte Maxeke fire tells us about health and safety in Gauteng hospitals

As Charlotte Maxeke Hospital missed its date to reopen this month after a fire in April, there are concerns that the true cost of the fire is still to be counted and that the fire is just another indication of a health department and fire service in crisis. Ufrieda Ho reports 

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Opinion: Our data shows where Gauteng clinics are failing, government must help fix it

Too many clinics are in crisis and it is driving the continuing HIV epidemic. People are dying because of it, argue members of the Ritshidze Project as they launch a report into the state of public sector facilities in Gauteng.

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Where are we in the race for a HIV vaccine?

While progress in the race for effective COVID-19 vaccines has been rapid and impressive, an effective HIV vaccine remains elusive. As part of Spotlight’s World AIDS Day 2020 coverage, Kathryn Cleary asks two of South Africa’s top vaccine researchers to update us on where we are in the race for an HIV vaccine.

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HIV and circumcision: Where are we at the end of 2020?

Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) has been shown to reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission by 60%. But with the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown, health authorities and organisations conducting VMMC in South Africa, say the numbers of men and boys being medically circumcised have dropped dramatically. Siyabonga Kamnqa reports.

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Interactive table: See how SA’s provinces compare on the 90-90-90 targets

New estimates of HIV in South Africa’s provinces were made public last week. This interactive table shows how South Africa’s nine provinces compare on the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.

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HIV death rate in SA men much higher than in women

While men account for only a third of South Africa’s roughly 200 000 new HIV infections in the year ending mid-2019, they account for more than half of the approximately 74 000 HIV-related deaths in the same period. This is according to new estimates released on Tuesday from the Thembisa mathematical model of HIV in South Africa.

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Spotlight
Spotlight
Episode 1: Sexual and reproductive health rights
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  • Episode 1: Sexual and reproductive health rights

    Episode 1: Sexual and reproductive health rights

    Aug 23, 2018 • 23:42

    In this first episode of the Spotlight podcast host Nomatter Ndebele speaks to Dr Daphney Conco of Wits about what SRHR is and why it matters. We also hear from Vuyokazi Gonyela of TAC about their SRHR work in provinces. Finally, Nomatter chats to Spotlight guest editor Thuthu Mbatha about…

  • Episode 2: Life Esidimeni revisited

    Episode 2: Life Esidimeni revisited

    Aug 28, 2018 • 1:00:42

    In episode 2 we catch up with the processes around the Life Esidimeni tragedy. Christine Nxumalo discusses what further action the families are hoping for. Tendai Mafuma provides fascinating insights into the prospects for criminal liability. Mark Heywood gives his views on the politics surrounding the case and what that…

  • Episode 3: Sasha Stevenson on what NHI and HMI  means for healthcare reform in South Africa

    Episode 3: Sasha Stevenson on what NHI and HMI means for healthcare reform in South Africa

    Oct 5, 2018 • 00:18:53

    At a recent civil society meeting jointly hosted by SECTION27 and Spotlight, Sasha Stevenson, head of health at SECTION27, presented on the implications of NHI and HMI for access to healthcare in South Africa. We now make her informative and thought-provoking presentation available as a podcast. (We apologise for the…

  • Episode 4: Marijuana, health and the law in South Africa

    Episode 4: Marijuana, health and the law in South Africa

    Dec 7, 2018 • 18:41

    Host Nomatter Ndebele chats to Dr Michael Herbst of the Cancer Association of South Africa about the landmark Constitutional Court judgement on the possession and use of marijuana and the judgement’s implications for the health of people in South Africa.

  • Episode 5: Dr Fareed Abdullah on South Africa’s  AIDS response

    Episode 5: Dr Fareed Abdullah on South Africa’s AIDS response

    Dec 14, 2018 • 22:26

    Dr Fareed Abdullah of the SA MRC, previously CEO of SANAC, recently addressed the TAC’s 20-year celebrations. Listen what he had to say about the history of South Africa’s AIDS response and where we are now.

  • Episode 6: Justice Edwin Cameron addresses the  TAC 20-year celebrations

    Episode 6: Justice Edwin Cameron addresses the TAC 20-year celebrations

    Dec 14, 2018 • 13:14

    Justice Edwin Cameron of South Africa’s Constitutional Court recently addressed attendees at the TAC’s 20-year celebrations. We bring you a recording of what he had to say to TAC members, supporters and allies.

  • Episode 7: Lotti Rutter on PEPFAR funding and why we need a People’s COP

    Episode 7: Lotti Rutter on PEPFAR funding and why we need a People’s COP

    Jul 25, 2019 • 24:10

    Nomatter Ndebele chats to Lotti Rutter of HealthGAP about what the People’s COP is and why it matters.

  • Episode 8: How South Africa is performing against key NSP indicators

    Episode 8: How South Africa is performing against key NSP indicators

    Jul 25, 2019 • 19:30

    Host Nomatter Ndebele chats to Spotlight editor Marcus Low about South Africa’s progress against key NSP indicators.

  • Episode 9: Rensburg on healthcare reform in South Africa

    Episode 9: Rensburg on healthcare reform in South Africa

    Jul 25, 2019 • 27:36

    Host Nomatter Ndebele chats to RHAP director Russell Rensburg about the major reforms underway in the South African healthcare system.

  • Episode 10: Siphiwe Mhlangana on the Treatment Action Campaign’s treatment literacy work

    Episode 10: Siphiwe Mhlangana on the Treatment Action Campaign’s treatment literacy work

    Jul 25, 2019 • 21:15

    Host Nomatter Ndebele chats to Siphiwe Mhlangana of the TAC about his treatment literacy work and why treatment literacy still matters.

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