Medical oxygen: The fascinating journey of a life-saving gas

Medical oxygen: The fascinating journey of a life-saving gas

Even in ‘normal’ times a reliable supply of medical oxygen is an essential part of healthcare services, but during COVID-19 surges the need for this life-sustaining gas has spiked to unprecedented levels. Tiyese Jeranji explores the fascinating science and engineering that facilitates this substance’s long journey from a production plant to a person’s lungs.

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When kids go hungry: Elsenburg’s women fill the food parcel ‘gap’

When kids go hungry: Elsenburg’s women fill the food parcel ‘gap’

After not receiving any government food parcels, one Western Cape farming community pulled together to provide their own COVID-19 relief. In the fifth article of a six-part series on child hunger, Kathryn Cleary spoke to a few women from Elsenburg who have distributed their own food parcels and started soup kitchens to feed hungry children and families in their community.

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COVID-19: Robot Quintin connects patients in ICU with loved ones

COVID-19: Robot Quintin connects patients in ICU with loved ones

At Cape Town’s Tygerberg Hospital, a robot named Quintin played its part in the fight to save Nceba Simayile’s life as he lay intubated on a ventilator, struggling to breathe. Biénne Huisman reports.

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When kids go hungry: A frontline perspective on treating child malnutrition

When kids go hungry: A frontline perspective on treating child malnutrition

After more than 16 years at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, Shihaam Cader and her team have helped to treat and rehabilitate thousands of malnourished children. Kathryn Cleary chatted to Cader for the first part of a six-part special series on child hunger in South Africa.

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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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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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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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IN-DEPTH: Are clinic committees a missing link in SA’s COVID-19 response?

IN-DEPTH: Are clinic committees a missing link in SA’s COVID-19 response?

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.

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