There’s a resurgence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in South Africa and around the world. The Gauteng Department of Health recently reported an increase of newly acquired STIs, in particular gonorrhoea and chlamydia. This spike in cases call for management guidelines and awareness programmes to be reviewed, reports Ufrieda Ho.
It is often enlightening to ask how and why certain services differ in the ways they do between the private and public healthcare sectors. By too rigidly focusing on the NHI Bill, argues Spotlight Editor Marcus Low, government risks losing sight of the many other interesting answers to this and other important questions about healthcare reform in South Africa.
Describing the rutted gravel road between Butterworth and Tafalofefe District Hospital in the Eastern Cape, Dr Bukiwe Spondo uses the word “terrible” at least eighteen times. Biénne Huisman caught up with Spondo, who was recently named rural doctor of the year, to chat about the many challenges of delivering quality healthcare services in South Africa’s rural areas.
The modernist five-storey Mowbray Maternity Hospital sits on a swathe of Cape Town’s earliest contested colonial farm land, earmarked by Jan Van Riebeeck in 1657. Biénne Huisman visited the hospital to learn about its history and its continuing role in helping mothers and babies in the 21st century.
While most male circumcisions performed in the Eastern Cape are done in the traditional manner, there are also significant numbers of medical male circumcisions being conducted. Siyabonga Kamnqa reports on this year’s winter initiation season in the province and the complex interplay between culture, safety, and protection against HIV involved in deciding between the two types of circumcision.
Despite some improvement, the community-led monitoring group Ritshidze’s second report on key populations highlights that sex workers, people who use drugs and LGBTQIA+ community members are often still discriminated against when trying to access public health facilities. This can lead to treatment interruptions and some stopping their clinic visits. Nthusang Lefafa reports.
2023 is set to be another tumultuous year for healthcare services, health policy, and governance in South Africa. We’ve picked 13 things to look out for this year arranged under three broad headings: leadership and governance, policy and legislation, and HIV, TB and the NSP.
Staff attitudes and patients complaining of being treated badly by healthcare workers at some clinics in the Eastern Cape were among the issues flagged in the latest report by community-led clinic monitoring group Ritshidze. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
Northern Cape Health MEC Marupeng Lekwene and the CEO of the Robert Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley recently launched a turnaround plan to address a litany of challenges at the province’s only tertiary hospital. Refilwe Mochoari and Alicestine October combed through departmental reports and speeches and spoke to several health stakeholders to assess the new plan.
The successful implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI) will rely heavily on effective governance at district level. The NHI Bill correctly identifies district hospitals as key during the early transitional NHI phases. Failing to capacitate them for the challenges ahead could prove disastrous, argues Russell Rensburg and Claire Botha.
The Mpumalanga Department of Health is plagued by many challenges ranging from water shortages affecting some of its health facilities, poor medicine distribution, and a spate of assaults and robberies putting healthcare workers at risk. Nthusang Lefafa spoke to unions, opposition parties, and the department about these ongoing challenges and plans to address them.
Women and girls seeking abortions are often forced to seek informal, illegal, and unsafe abortions as a result of various systemic barriers. Khanyisa Mapipa, Sibusisiwe Ndlela, and Thokozile Mtsolongo look at the state of abortion services in the public sector in the Eastern Cape.