A company headquartered in Johannesburg will start making flexible silicone rings to protect women from HIV. The move signals a strong vote of confidence in an African firm to supply the ring at adequate scale and affordable prices, and a crucial step to making the continent self-reliant, reports Catherine Tomlinson.
A pivotal case for access to affordable medicines in South Africa is set to determine whether people in South Africa will be able to get access to breakthrough cystic fibrosis treatments. Aneesa Adams spent some time with a family living with cystic fibrosis to get a sense of what is at stake.
According to the latest report from community-based clinic monitoring group Ritshidze, users of public sector health facilities in Mpumalanga are experiencing shorter waiting times, cleaner facilities, and extended antiretroviral refills compared to previous years. But Ritshidze also reports ongoing staff shortages, problematic staff attitudes, and problems with infrastructure. Nthusang Lefafa unpacks the new findings and asks the province’s health department what they are planning in response.
Obesity is a complicated public health issue that can be devastating on both the societal and the individual level. New weight loss medicines have shown remarkable efficacy in clinical trials, but their high cost is limiting uptake. Amy Green asks where these new medicines should fit into South Africa’s response to rising levels of obesity.
In recent weeks, cystic fibrosis (CF) has been in the headlines because of a court case about access to new treatments for the genetic condition. After having reported on the court case, Catherine Tomlinson now unpacks how CF is diagnosed in South Africa and why so many cases here fall through the cracks. The good news, she reports, is that efforts are underway to establish a national infant screening programme.
Lenalidomide is an important medicine used for the treatment of multiple myeloma – a type of bone marrow cancer that is not curable and typically requires long-term, ongoing treatment. Over the last decade, the price of this drug has fluctuated dramatically in South Africa and patients and their doctors have gone to extreme lengths to access it. Catherine Tomlinson unpacks the remarkable recent history of lenalidomide.
South Africa is expected to begin piloting the HIV prevention injection early next year as one of several projects that experts hope will reveal the answers to some of the biggest questions about the future of the shot – who will deliver the injection, where, and how to sell people on the idea that just six shots a year could protect them from HIV. Laura Lopez Gonzalez reports.
Fiery nurse activist Fikile Dikolomela-Lengene says she has had a front-row seat to corruption unfolding in Gauteng’s public health sector and she is not afraid to speak out. Biénne Huisman chatted to Dikomela-Lengene, who calls herself ‘Sr Fikx’ because she wants to influence change in the public health sector.
South Africa has only one public sector supplier of resized packages of morphine powder and the company’s failure to deliver since July has left some patients in unspeakable agony. Ufrieda Ho reports.
Public healthcare facilities in the North West have been plagued by chronic medicines stockouts for years. Now, as the province’s health department is again taking the reins after four years under administration by the National Department of Health, Nthusang Lefafa asks what progress has or has not been made in that most basic of healthcare functions, providing people with the medicines they need.
A potentially life-saving or life-extending breast cancer medicine is available to public sector patients in several of South Africa’s provinces, but not in the Western Cape. Elri Voigt asks what is behind the Western Cape government’s decision.
From around March to June this year, there was a shortage of colostomy bags at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. This meant that public sector patients were, at times, sent home with too few or the wrong bags. Thabo Molelekwa reports.