Community health workers: A Spotlight in-depth feature

The role of community health workers in the South African public healthcare system has been unclear and controversial. How many do we need? What exactly should their role be? Who should employ them? What should they be paid? Is there good evidence to inform policy? Sasha Stevenson of SECTION27 lead Spotlight’s in-depth investigation into these pressing questions.

Health4Sale: Free State – Multi-million Rand contract delivers dodgy medical equipment

Brand new theatre beds are broken within months and sub-standard anaesthesia machines stand unused following the award of a multi-million Rand medical equipment tender by the Free State Department of Health to a company called Mediquip SA Hub of which two co-directors are George Sebulela, of the Black Business Council and one of the latest additions to the Eskom board, and Tefetso Bernard Phitsane, a senior ANC politician in the Free State and close ally of Ace Magashule.

Mental health and pill-taking: Getting beyond HIV

“A few weeks ago we lost Prudence Mbele, a beloved long-time activist living openly with HIV, who died of TB. Prudence was famous for her ‘pill holidays’ – a big no-no in HIV-land, as it leads to further immune damage. The idea of someone stopping their life-saving tablets – even temporarily – boggles the minds of most health providers. Her death triggered an intense media and Facebook/Twitter reaction, filled both with criticism at her choices as well as empathy, as people shared their own hard stories about taking antiretrovirals. Professor Francois Venter writes for Spotlight about the difficulties of taking pills for the rest of your life and dealing with the mental health issues relating to illness.