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.
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.
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.
Clinic Committees can be a powerful link between the community and primary healthcare facilities. Several clinic committee members however say they have been side-lined in South Africa’s COVID-19 response. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called the COVID-19 pandemic the gravest crisis in the country’s democratic history. Now, with the Western Cape and Gauteng making up nearly 64 percent of the country’s total confirmed infections, Kathryn Cleary asked departments of health in both provinces how prepared they are for the coming peak.
Already at an increased risk of serious COVID-19 illness, older persons in poor communities face an additional set of difficulties in staying safe and healthy. Siyabonga Kamnqa spoke to older people, experts, civil society organisations and government authorities on what can be done to protect older people.
The COVID-19 epidemic in the Western Cape is at least a few weeks ahead of that in South Africa’s other provinces. Some leading doctors in the province have shared some key lessons learned in recent months.
Doctors at two of the Western Cape’s most severely impacted COVID-19 hospitals say they have seen positive outcomes from using high-flow nasal oxygen instead of invasive mechanical ventilation. Kathryn Cleary asked doctors at these hospitals to explain how and why this kind of oxygen therapy works so well.