Having to collect one’s medicines at overcrowded public sector clinics with long queues can be time-consuming, disruptive, and, these days, may expose one to a risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Thabo Molelekwa takes stock of South Africa’s centralised chronic medicines dispensing and distribution programme, the Department of Health’s system for allowing more people to collect their chronic medicines closer to their homes or workplaces.
The ongoing stockouts of contraceptives grossly violate individuals’ and couples’ reproductive rights but alternative measures have not been put in place. If the issues of access to contraceptives are not dealt with, the country will face a baby boom and a rise in HIV infections at the end of the current pandemic writes Thuthukile Mbatha and Annah Maluleke.
The delivery of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available in South Africa will be a complex and costly logistical exercise. Acquiring enough injection devices is part of crucial logistical planning to ensure rapid, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Adele Baleta reports.
It is more than a year since Spotlight visited the Xhora Mouth area in the Eastern Cape to report on the locals’ challenges in accessing health care services. Now, a year later, not much has changed. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
Despite glaring poverty and the high unemployment rate plaguing the village of Ngquthu near Dutywa in the Amathole district in the Eastern Cape, villagers pulled together their resources to refurbish what was once a preschool into a community health facility. The community took their access to healthcare into their own hands after complaints over the long distance and residents who, on the way to the nearest clinic, fell victim to a spate of rapes and muggings. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
In 2018, Cabinet adopted a new intellectual property policy for South Africa, but as yet the policy has not led to any change in the country’s patent laws. Amending these laws as soon as possible is critical to both the COVID-19 and HIV response, argues Umunyana Rugege.
Medicine stockouts can have dire consequences. Tendai Mafuma and Ruth Dube look at lessons learnt over the years on how to help prevent medicine stockouts and argue that although the interventions are not new, if implemented it could help solve the vicious cycle of medicine stockouts in the Eastern Cape.
Pharmacists do much more than stand behind a counter dispensing medicine. These professionals have a key role to play in the health care system and the overall well-being of people. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to a community pharmacist and pharmacists in the public health sector to understand their role and the challenges they face.
With abortion services now available through telemedicine and the increasing practice of self-managed abortion, Marion Stevens asks if abortion law still has any relevance given these practices.
A recent announcement about a vaginal ring to prevent HIV has AIDS activists and women’s sexual and reproductive health advocates excited. But where would this ring fit in South Africa’s HIV prevention programme? Amy Green investigates.