SA company set to manufacture HIV prevention ring

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.

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Mpumalanga health department responds to latest clinic monitoring findings

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.

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In-depth: New screening programme planned for cystic fibrosis in SA

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.

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Analysis: Why has the price of this cancer medicine risen and fallen by over a thousand percent since 2016?

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.

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Pilot projects set to inform rollout of HIV prevention shot

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.

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In-depth: Have 4 years of administration reduced medicine stockouts in North West?

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.

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