Limpopo has consistently been one of South Africa’s leading provinces when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, outshining some larger and less rural provinces such as Gauteng. Mogale Mojela visited some vaccination sites and spoke to the Limpopo health department and other stakeholders about their approach to getting people jabbed.
Many clinics in Limpopo are operating without the required number of staff needed to deliver quality healthcare services, according to a report from Ritshidze, a community healthcare monitoring project. Activists say these staff shortages contribute to long waiting times for patients and overworked staff – which can ultimately undermine the province’s HIV programme.
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.
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.
After the 2019 elections, new MECs for Health (provincial ministers) were appointed in four of South Africa’s nine provinces. Less than two years later, three of the four are no longer in their jobs, writes Marcus Low.
If South Africa is forced to go into a COVID-19 lockdown again, HIV support groups and adherence clubs should remain functional to make sure that everyone is supported, has regular access to information and treatment, and that people are motivated to adhere to treatment, argue Annah Maluleke and Solanga Milambo.
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.
Two provinces have said they will force people with COVID-19 to isolate in state facilities irrespective of whether they can safely self-isolate at home. Kathryn Cleary investigates the legal and public health side of these decisions.
Social justice organisations have released an open letter in which they question the Limpopo Health Department’s decision to release provincial bursary holders from their contractual obligations. RHAP has in its possession a letter circulated to health professionals inviting them to a meeting to discuss the decision which will affect approximately 540 health professionals who have received funding from the department.
Sally Duigan is never alone, with every move she makes there is a posse of happy, smiling children clinging to her arms, grabbing whatever bit of her clothing is within their reach. Nomatter Ndebele and Thom Pierce went to visit Limpopo’s biggest and happiest family.
Two doctors who run a small-scale ambulance service in Louis Trichardt (Makhado) in Limpopo with no aeromedical experience, landed a lucrative air ambulance contract with the provincial health department which has already paid out close to R3-million in four months. By Anso Thom and Marcus Low