TB catch-up plan underway in WC but old challenges linger

TB catch-up plan underway in WC but old challenges linger

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.

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COVID-19: How provinces are catching up on elective procedures

COVID-19: How provinces are catching up on elective procedures

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.

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COVID-19: Innovating and adapting at Zithulele Hospital

COVID-19: Innovating and adapting at Zithulele Hospital

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.

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Dire conditions at Mthatha General and Nessie Knight hospitals

Dire conditions at Mthatha General and Nessie Knight hospitals

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.

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OP-ED: Underpaid and Unprotected -The case for supporting Community Health Workers

OP-ED: Underpaid and Unprotected -The case for supporting Community Health Workers

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.

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Interview: Dr Keith Cloete, from District Six to COVID-19 engine room

Interview: Dr Keith Cloete, from District Six to COVID-19 engine room

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.

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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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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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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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IN PICTURES: The making of a public health time bomb: Just (don’t) add water

IN PICTURES: The making of a public health time bomb: Just (don’t) add water

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.

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IN-DEPTH: On the streets with paramedics amid COVID-19 and high crime rates

IN-DEPTH: On the streets with paramedics amid COVID-19 and high crime rates

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.

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COVID-19: 65-year-old driver tells of his time in Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope

COVID-19: 65-year-old driver tells of his time in Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope

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.

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