Once widely hailed, South Africa’s Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan 2013 – 2020 lapsed last year, with mixed reviews on its implementation from mental healthcare stakeholders. The National Department of Health now says the revised and updated Policy Framework and Plan will be in place in the next financial year. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to experts and activists about what the lapsed policy framework achieved and what to improve.
The North West has passed the one million mark for COVID-19 jabs administered. Nthusang Lefafa unpacks the vaccination numbers, reasons for the province having some of the lowest vaccination numbers in the country, and how it is working to catch up.
As we commemorate yet another Women’s Month, we are reminded of the many initiatives that have come and gone in an attempt to address the extreme period poverty that continues to plague South African women and girls. It is time to solve this issue once and for all, and to make sanitary towels and menstrual hygiene products free and readily available, writes René Sparks.
With the 1 July opening of registration for those aged 50-59, over 4.8 million more people can now register on South Africa’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS). They will join a few million people before them in providing personal information including their names, ID numbers, cell phone numbers, and medical aid numbers if applicable. Laura Owings asks how safe your data is on the EVDS.
While the Digital Vibes scandal has no doubt presented President Cyril Ramaphosa with a massive headache, it has also presented him with an opportunity. In appointing a new Minister of Health, he can set South Africa’s COVID-19 response on a sounder footing. We should soon know whether this is an opportunity he is ready to take, writes Spotlight editor Marcus Low.
South Africa has struggled to secure adequate stock of urgently needed COVID-19 vaccines. This has raised questions about the state of the country’s local vaccine manufacturing capacity and why, after almost two decades of government support, South Africa’s partially state-owned vaccine manufacturer Biovac is not better positioned to respond to the pandemic. Catherine Tomlinson investigates.
Ahead of the end-of-year school exams the Western Cape Department of Education has called on matric pupils and their parents to consider the COVID-19 risk associated with attending large social events. Since June, 792 learners have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Western Cape. Siyabonga Kamnqa reports.
The temporary closure of clinics in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, whenever a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, has disrupted healthcare services at many of these clinics. Luvuyo Mhelwana spoke to some residents attending local clinics and the health authorities in the district and province.
Timothy Lebelwane of Diepsloot is one of 2 000 people in South Africa participating in a COVID-19 vaccine trial spearheaded by Wits University. Biénne Huisman spoke to him about life as a participant in such an important vaccine trial.
Hunger has increased across the board under South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown but new evidence points to what experts say is an old phenomenon: adults going hungry for the sake of their children.
By 16 June there were 1 622 COVID-19 infections and 12 deaths recorded in correctional facilities across the country. While some inmates are considered for a special parole to reduce the transmission risk in correctional facilities, over 272 000 arrests for lockdown-related offences were made, triggering a further set of transmission concerns. Elri Voigt reports.