Nurses make up a large part of the healthcare workforce in South Africa, but almost half of them are set to retire in the next 15 years. This suggests existing shortages of nurses will become even greater unless we take concrete steps to boost nurse training and retention. Elna Schütz reports.
It’s been over a year since COVID-19 first hit South Africa. Since then, many people have been living in constant fear and many have lost loved ones. Frontline healthcare workers had no choice but to face their fears if they were to keep doing the life-saving work they were trained for. Amy Green and colleagues explore the emotional toll that South Africa’s third wave of COVID-19 is taking on healthcare workers.
When renowned geneticist Professor Michèle Ramsay is not building knowledge of African genomic diversity and working on decoding clues for genetic susceptibility to disease, she is knitting a “COVID blanket”. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to her about her passion for genetics, the complexities of genome editing, and how she copes with COVID-19.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic many medical interns in South Africa had a tough time, often working long hours and with little oversight or support. Chris Bateman spoke to interns and junior doctors in public hospitals and tag-on COVID-19 facilities, who are performing tasks of porters, auxiliary nurses, and liaising with anxious relatives, instead of getting the required hands-on, supervised learning.
For Dr Caroline Pule, a biomedical scientist working in tuberculosis (TB) research, her passion for finding answers that can help ease the suffering caused by diseases such as TB started with a promise she wrote in her diary when she was 13 years old. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to Pule about following her dream of saving lives and teaching young girls to believe in possibilities.
The first time Dr Rehana Malgas-Enus (38) stepped into a chemistry lab at university, she fell in love. This love has fuelled many of her career achievements but now also drives her to share her love of science with learners from disadvantaged communities. Elri Voigt spoke to Malgas-Enus as part of Spotlight’s Women in Health series.
Dr Ncumisa Jilata’s journey from a childhood classroom in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape to becoming the youngest neurosurgeon in Africa may have begun with a glass of water. Laura Owings spoke to her about her journey, what drives her and succeeding in the male-dominated field of neurosurgery.
Troubles regarding the placement of community service doctors have made headlines once again this year, as it seems to do most years. The structural roots of these problems are long-standing and complex. Elna Schütz unpacks the complexities and talks to role-players about possible solutions.
Seven years after over 100 community health workers were arrested during a vigil at the provincial health department’s headquarters, Bophelo House, the struggles of community healthcare workers in the Free State continue as they are still calling for job security. Refilwe Mochoari reports.
Oral health is critical to people’s overall health, but a dire shortage of oral health practitioners in the public health sector means that many people are not getting the oral healthcare services they need. Luvuyo Mehlwana spoke to health officials and oral health experts about the state of oral health services in the country.
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.
Three years ago, public sector cancer services made headlines for failing patients in multiple provinces. A few government interventions later, experts say there have been improvements, but significant issues remain. Elna Schütz reports.