HPV vaccination switching to single-dose and private schools to get government supply

HPV vaccination switching to single-dose and private schools to get government supply

A decade into South Africa’s HPV vaccination programme, the health department is switching from a two-dose to a single dose vaccine regimen and girls in private schools are set to start receiving government subsidised jabs. The vaccine provided, GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix, will remain the same. The move is backed by evidence showing one-dose regimens provide similar protection against HPV infection as multi-dose regimens. Catherine Tomlinson reports.

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Why a major finding on HIV and statins may not be that relevant in SA

Why a major finding on HIV and statins may not be that relevant in SA

One of the biggest stories in HIV in the last year was that a class of medicines called statins could help reduce cardiovascular disease in people living with the virus. In response, treatment guidelines in the United States were quickly updated, but the picture is more complicated in South Africa. Spotlight’s Elri Voigt explores why the case for widespread use of statins by people living with HIV is less compelling in South Africa than in some other countries.

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Why affirming treatment for gender questioning youth matters in SA

Why affirming treatment for gender questioning youth matters in SA

Gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth has sparked intense debate globally. In South Africa, we need to significantly improve accessibility throughout the country, ensure services are well-resourced, include trained healthcare providers skilled in gender affirming care, and offer comprehensive care that integrates mental health and social services, write Jenna-Lee de Beer-Procter and Pierre Brouard, on behalf of fellow board members of the Professional Association for Transgender Health South Africa.

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The health minister SA needs: astute politician, inspired leader, humble and fair

The health minister SA needs: astute politician, inspired leader, humble and fair

By month end South Africa will have a new Minister of Health. Ufrieda Ho asked some academics and activists what qualities that person should have to tackle the key health issues the country faces.

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OPEN LETTER | Minister of Health Joe Phaahla, make TB a political priority

OPEN LETTER | Minister of Health Joe Phaahla, make TB a political priority

In this open letter to Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla, TB activists call for the disease to be made a political priority and demand multisectoral departmental accountability. They outline six demands for implementation by the end of this year. The letter was submitted on the final day of the South African TB Conference being held this week in Durban.

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Slow progress after decision to make TB prevention pills more widely available

Slow progress after decision to make TB prevention pills more widely available

Besides preventing illness and death, tuberculosis prevention therapy is estimated to be highly cost effective. Yet, uptake of the medication is not what it could be in South Africa. Tiyese Jeranji asks how much has changed since the Department of Health last year decided to make TB prevention therapy much more widely available.

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More uproar at Zithulele Hospital as senior doctor is moved

More uproar at Zithulele Hospital as senior doctor is moved

A senior doctor who worked at Zithulele Hospital in the Eastern Cape for close to a decade has been instructed to report to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha. Some Zithulele hospital staff and community members last week protested the move. Sue Segar reports.

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Who will be SA’s Minister of Health in the new cabinet?

Who will be SA’s Minister of Health in the new cabinet?

After the ANC received less than 41% of the votes in last week’s national elections, negotiations are now underway that will determine how and by who South Africa is governed. Ministerial posts, including the country’s top health job, might be on the negotiating table. Spotlight considers the candidates for the post of South Africa’s Minister of Health.

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At the heart of the NHI lies fairness: Outgoing chair of parliament’s health committee defends record

At the heart of the NHI lies fairness: Outgoing chair of parliament’s health committee defends record

The chairperson of the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Health Dr Kenneth Jacobs played a pivotal role in deliberations on the National Health Insurance Bill. Spotlight’s Biénne Huisman asked Jacobs about some criticisms of NHI and about his plans for life after Parliament.

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A new breed – The thinking behind building a new medical school in North West province

A new breed – The thinking behind building a new medical school in North West province

The North West University Medical School will be the country’s 11th medical school. Nthusang Lefafa speaks to public health experts to find out how this new medical school will do things differently.

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HIV treatment for kids has improved and there is more to come, says Dr Moherndran Archary

HIV treatment for kids has improved and there is more to come, says Dr Moherndran Archary

Dr Moherndran Archary’s research has helped shape South African health policy, most notably the rollout of better HIV treatments for children and babies. Spotlight’s Biénne Huisman chatted to him about the state of HIV treatment for kids and some exciting prospects on the horizon.

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Susan Cleary | Let’s be pragmatic – the NHI has constructive and contentious aspects

Susan Cleary | Let’s be pragmatic – the NHI has constructive and contentious aspects

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently signed the NHI Bill into law. The question is whether this will bring South Africa closer towards Universal Health Coverage. Professor Susan Cleary argues that the NHI is a wide ranging reform with both positive and controversial aspects. The key will be to find a middle ground in order to continue on the journey to UHC.

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