Editorial: As COVID-19 numbers fall, much remains uncertain

Editorial: As COVID-19 numbers fall, much remains uncertain

How many people have actually died of COVID-19 in South Africa and what do we know about the possibility of a second wave? As the first, and hopefully the only, substantial wave of infections and death recedes, Spotlight Editor Marcus Low assesses the many remaining uncertainties.

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Some TB patients still required to take pills in front of witnesses

Some TB patients still required to take pills in front of witnesses

Some tuberculosis patients in South Africa are still required to take their pills in front of a healthcare worker or family member. Is this a justified means of ensuring people take their medicine, or is it an invasion of personal autonomy? Elri Voigt asked local TB experts.

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COVID-19: SA doctors were ready for multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children

COVID-19: SA doctors were ready for multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children

The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases on Tuesday declared multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) a Notifiable Medical Condition. Elna Schütz spoke with doctors who have been treating this rare and dangerous condition.

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COVID-19: What life is like in Khayelitsha after the surge

COVID-19: What life is like in Khayelitsha after the surge

On alert level two of South Africa’s lockdown and despite authorities warning against complacency, residents in places such as Khayelitsha are not just more relaxed, but many are abandoning COVID-19 safety precautions. Siyabonga Kamnqa reports.

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Opinion: Release of SA’s first National TB Prevalence Survey should not be delayed any longer

Opinion: Release of SA’s first National TB Prevalence Survey should not be delayed any longer

Even though it has been ready for months, findings of a critically important tuberculosis survey have not been made public. Every day that passes, the more outdated the findings become, and accordingly the less useful.

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Opinion: What PPE graft means for NHI

Opinion: What PPE graft means for NHI

Even as the need for a more equitable health system is being demonstrated, news has broken of large-scale corruption in the procurement of PPE. This makes it difficult for a population worn down by corruption to envisage the transformation of the health system into a system of contracting and procurement under National Health Insurance, writes Sasha Stevenson.

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COVID-19: How mechanical ventilation has saved lives at Groote Schuur Hospital

COVID-19: How mechanical ventilation has saved lives at Groote Schuur Hospital

While high-flow nasal oxygen has been one of the success stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not always enough. Sometimes more invasive mechanical ventilation is required. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to Professor Ross Hofmeyr on what mechanical ventilation entails and the measures his team at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town have employed to successfully manage these critical COVID-19 cases.

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Stronger governance is at the heart of addressing the health workforce crisis

Stronger governance is at the heart of addressing the health workforce crisis

Plans like South Africa’s new Human Resources for Health Strategy 2030 must be backed by political support and appropriate, capacitated institutional structures to bring about meaningful change, argue Manya van Ryneveld, Uta Lehmann and Helen Schneider.

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COVID-19: High prevalence found in Cape Town antibody study

COVID-19: High prevalence found in Cape Town antibody study

Initial results from an antibody survey conducted in the Cape Town Metro indicate that of 2 700 pregnant women and people living with HIV making use of the public healthcare system, 40% have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Adele Baleta has the details.

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IN-DEPTH: The tangled web of medical device regulation in SA

IN-DEPTH: The tangled web of medical device regulation in SA

South Africa does not currently register medical devices. So what does it mean when the regulator announces that a new COVID-19 test or ventilator has been authorised? Catherine Tomlinson unpacks what is required to market a medical device in South Africa.

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COVID-19: We can’t breathe – residents in South Durban say whilst caught between COVID-19 and polluted air

COVID-19: We can’t breathe – residents in South Durban say whilst caught between COVID-19 and polluted air

Lockdown has been difficult for most people in South Africa, but residents in the South Durban Basin describe their experiences as tantamount to a health hostage situation as they are caught between polluted air from petrochemical industries and the COVID-19 virus. Nomfundo Xolo investigates.

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Government strategy shows billions needed to avert healthcare worker crisis

Government strategy shows billions needed to avert healthcare worker crisis

A new government strategy, obtained by Spotlight and Maverick Citizen, estimates that billions of rands in additional investment is needed to improve staffing levels and equity across provinces by 2025.

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