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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#InTheSpotlight | HIV prevention injections exist, but hardly anyone can get them

#InTheSpotlight | HIV prevention injections exist, but hardly anyone can get them

HIV prevention injections have been registered for use in South Africa, but their high price and limited supply means that for the next few years, while awaiting more affordable generics, very few people will be able to get the jabs. In this Spotlight special briefing, Catherine Tomlinson looks at the difficult choices facing the country if we want to offer the injection to more people more quickly. The calls we make could have global implications.

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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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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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#Vote4Health | What parties are putting on the table for healthcare in the Eastern Cape

#Vote4Health | What parties are putting on the table for healthcare in the Eastern Cape

Spotlight reached out to different political parties in the Eastern Cape to get their perspectives on how they plan to jack up healthcare in a province where thousands of people still have difficulty accessing healthcare. Only three parties responded. We zoom in on their views on crippled emergency medical services and ballooning medico-legal claims.

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