In 2019 around 360 000 people in South Africa fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) and about 58 000 people died due to the disease, according to a World Health Organization Report released last week. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these already alarming numbers, with some TB patients stopping treatment during lockdown. Siyabonga Kamnqa looks at the plans the Western Cape Health Department has in place to get its TB programme back on track and finds old challenges still remain.
As South Africa prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals had to come up with plans to deal with the expected influx of COVID-19 patients. Part of this plan was that hospitals would minimise or temporarily put elective procedures on hold. Now, with the country at alert level 1 of its lockdown, Tiyese Jeranji looks at how four provinces are again phasing in elective procedures.
With chronic health worker shortages and limited resources such as ventilators in rural public health facilities, how did Zithulele Hospital in OR Tambo District manage its COVID-19 cases? Tiyese Jeranji spoke to two doctors working at Zithulele about an innovative oxygen solution, infection control, and much more.
The dire state of health infrastructure and services in the Eastern Cape has made headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic and triggered promises of government intervention, but in some hospitals those providing and receiving healthcare note little to no improvement. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
If we are serious about Universal Health Care, we need to match the commitment shown by community health workers (CHWs). Not only must their contribution to the pandemic response be adequately recognised, but CHWs deserve a say in health policymaking and implementation that affects them, the authors argue.
Dr Keith Cloete became head of the Western Cape Health Department on April 1 2020, two weeks into South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown level 5. Biénne Huisman asked him about the long road from a childhood in District Six to the blur of meetings in the Western Cape’s COVID-19 engine room.
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.
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.
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.
On the ground in the Eastern Cape and from recent proceedings in parliament, it seems clear that there is a water management crisis in the OR Tambo District – a crisis with public health implications beyond just COVID-19.
In South Africa responding to medical emergencies can mean risking your life, possible assault and losing some of your belongings. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and added to these daily challenges faced by paramedics. Melissa Javan investigates.
On July 22 Richard Abrahams, his wife, and three children celebrated his 65th birthday with orange cake and well-wishes. Less than a month before, Abrahams was struggling to breathe due to COVID-19 and receiving oxygen at Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope. He shared his story with Biénne Huisman.