In Focus: Water shortages in parts of Free State affecting health services

In Focus: Water shortages in parts of Free State affecting health services

Qwaqwa, situated in the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality is close to the Sterkfontein Dam, which is one of the four biggest dams in the country. Yet, hospitals and clinics in and around Qwaqwa have for years struggled with dirty water, dry taps, and constant water interruptions. Refilwe Mochoari reports.

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Interview: Kenneth Jacobs, new chair of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health

Dr Kenneth Jacobs was elected chairperson of the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Health last month. Biénne Huisman chatted to Jacobs about National Health Insurance, the role of Parliament, working with the Stormers rugby team, and his own background and journey to serving as chair of such an important parliamentary committee.

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vaccine needle

COVID-19: What is behind Limpopo’s vaccination numbers?

Limpopo has consistently been one of South Africa’s leading provinces when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, outshining some larger and less rural provinces such as Gauteng. Mogale Mojela visited some vaccination sites and spoke to the Limpopo health department and other stakeholders about their approach to getting people jabbed.

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Gogo with her vaccine forms.VACCINATION OF 60 PLUS AT THE NKOSI MADZIKANE KAZULU HOSPITAL. Photo Black Star Images.

Experts broadly positive about digital vaccination certificates

Plans to issue a digital vaccination certificate to people who have been jabbed were announced last week, but so far details have been sparse. Spotlight spoke to several experts to get their views on what we know about the certificates so far.

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What we lost in in the fire. Health authorities in the North West province are still calculating the damage to Christiana District Hospital after a fire broke out last week. PHOTO: North West Health

Christiana community concerned over access to health services after hospital fire  

While it is still unclear what caused the fire at the Christiana Hospital in the North West last week, residents are concerned about what this means for their health needs. Millions of rands’ worth of infrastructure upgrades were destroyed by a fire that left a big part of the hospital in ruins. Nthusang Lefafa reports.

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healthcare user with Free State Ritshidze report

Human resource issues at root of Free State health problems, report suggests

Shortages of healthcare workers are contributing to long waiting times at healthcare facilities, poor treatment adherence, and are undermining the response to HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in the Free State, findings in a new report show. Refilwe Mochoari attended the launch of the report and asked the Free State Department of Health for its response.

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In-depth: The incredibly long wait for gender-affirming surgery for those who can’t pay

Already very long waiting times for gender-affirming surgery in South Africa’s public sector have gotten even longer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tiyese Jeranji investigates the challenges transgender persons in the country face in accessing gender-affirming care.

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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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