#Vote4Health | Only one of five political parties responds with their plans for KZN Health

#Vote4Health | Only one of five political parties responds with their plans for KZN Health

KwaZulu-Natal is a high-stakes province that seems set for substantial political shake-ups come 29 May. Whichever way the pie gets divvied up though, healthcare is a matter of life-and-death. Ufrieda Ho asked five political parties about their plans for health in the province. Only one responded.

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EDITORIAL: With elections and NHI, this is a big year for healthcare in SA

EDITORIAL: With elections and NHI, this is a big year for healthcare in SA

South Africa is barrelling towards its most consequential and most competitive national and provincial elections since 1994. Spotlight editor Marcus Low asks what is on the line in these elections from a healthcare perspective and argues that the stakes are particularly high when it comes to NHI and the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provincial health departments.

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Orthopaedic surgery: What is behind SA’s long waiting lists?

Orthopaedic surgery: What is behind SA’s long waiting lists?

As of last year, there were 3 449 people waiting on orthopaedic surgery in five of South Africa’s nine provinces. Waiting times in these five provinces ranged from two weeks to over five years. In the Eastern Cape, it can take up to ten years for people to get specific types of orthopaedic surgery. Tiyese Jeranji looks at the numbers and unpacks what it means for healthcare workers and people waiting for orthopaedic surgery.

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KwaZulu-Natal doing well compared to other provinces but some health services still a challenge

KwaZulu-Natal doing well compared to other provinces but some health services still a challenge

KwaZulu-Natal clinics are outperforming facilities monitored in other provinces on various indicators and health services in the province have improved year-on-year, but some marginalised groups continue to have a hard time accessing healthcare services. This is according to the latest provincial report from community-led monitoring project Ritshidze. Nthusang Lefafa spoke to several NGOs about the findings and asked the province’s health department for their response.

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Opinion: Mental health screening for people with TB will change lives and boost SA’s TB response

Opinion: Mental health screening for people with TB will change lives and boost SA’s TB response

According to some estimates, over a third of tuberculosis (TB) patients have high levels of psychological distress and a quarter have an alcohol use disorder. Following an eye-opening project in KwaZulu-Natal, Atlantic Institute Tekano Fellow Amanda Fononda argues that a diagnosis of an illness (such as TB) should be accompanied by mental health screening for treatment readiness, adherence, and overall well-being.

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Promising early signs from mobile X-ray TB screening pilots

Promising early signs from mobile X-ray TB screening pilots

One of the key recommendations from the National TB Prevalence Survey released last year was to increase “access to TB screening and testing services through outreach programmes using mobile testing and X-ray facilities”. Tiyese Jeranji takes stock of the number of mobile X-ray vans and containers across the country and plans to scale up their use.

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Staff shortages and long waiting times plague KZN health, report finds

Staff shortages and long waiting times plague KZN health, report finds

While KwaZulu-Natal is doing comparatively well on key HIV indicators, the public healthcare system in the province is plagued by staff shortages, long waiting times, poor tuberculosis infection control, and in some cases, dysfunctional filing systems. This is according to a new report from community-led monitoring group Ritshidze. Elri Voigt reports.

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Health and Unrest: Counting the cost and getting people their medicines

Health and Unrest: Counting the cost and getting people their medicines

As the country is still calculating the tally of the vaccine stock and medicines stolen in last week’s unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, there is still a lot of uncertainty about plans to restore medicine security.

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COVID-19: How vaccination numbers compare in SA’s provinces

COVID-19: How vaccination numbers compare in SA’s provinces

Over five million people in South Africa have so far received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Elri Voigt unpacks how the vaccination rollout is going in South Africa’s nine provinces. Though the numbers do not tell the full story and provinces face different challenges, indications are that Limpopo, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal are doing well, while Mpumalanga is struggling.

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Health and unrest: KZN healthcare services left battered after a week of unrest and looting

Health and unrest: KZN healthcare services left battered after a week of unrest and looting

By Friday, looting, rioting, and violence in parts of KwaZulu-Natal left shops and pharmacies empty and vandalised, warehouses burnt to the ground, and many lives lost. Sandile Duma and Leslie Mudzudza report on the impact on health services.

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COVID-19: What provinces have planned for older persons

COVID-19: What provinces have planned for older persons

Phase II of South Africa’s vaccination rollout has started. Elri Voigt unpacks how provinces will go about vaccinating those aged 60 and older.

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UPDATE: How provinces are gearing up for the launch of mass vaccination

UPDATE: How provinces are gearing up for the launch of mass vaccination

With phase two of the country’s vaccination rollout set to start on Monday, 17 May, provinces are gearing up for the largest adult vaccination push the country has ever seen. Elri Voigt provides an update on preparations for the next phase in the nine provinces and progress made in vaccinating healthcare workers through the Sisonke implementation study.

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