In December 2008, Dr Mark Blaylock left South Africa after a high-profile spat with then-Health MEC of KwaZulu-Natal Peggy Nkonyeni. The affair was sparked by Blaylock’s colleague Colin Pfaff being charged with misconduct for sourcing funding for antiretroviral drugs for pregnant women living with HIV. Four years later, Blaylock was back at Manguzi District Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal. Sue Segar chatted to Blaylock about his years outside of South Africa, returning to Manguzi, and how healthcare in KwaZulu-Natal has changed over the years.
South Africa’s health ombud Professor Malegapuru Makgoba’s tenure as ombud will end at the end of May. Bienne Huisman spoke to him about headline-making investigations into the Life Esidemeni tragedy and conditions at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, his childhood in Limpopo, and how he side-stepped former President Nelson Mandela’s invitation to join the African National Congress.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) elected new leadership at its recently held seventh national congress. Thabo Molelekwa attended the congress and asked TAC leaders about the organisation’s focus in 2022 and beyond.
Dr Francesca Conradie knew she wanted to be a doctor when she was eight years old. Now, 50 years later, she is a pioneer in the field of tuberculosis (TB) and led a landmark trial that changed how drug-resistant TB is treated. Aisha Abdool Karim spoke to her about the reasons behind her switch from HIV research to TB, her initial surprise at the remarkable NiX trial results, and the man who has shaped her life – her father.
Professor Koleka Mlisana is co-chair of South Africa’s COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee. Ufrieda Ho interviewed her about her love of science, her career, and her role in the fight against COVID-19.
Last month, Professor Hoosen “Jerry” Coovadia’s textbook Coovadia’s Paediatrics & Child Health was released in its seventh edition – 819 pages thick – 37 years after it was first published in 1984 but it is his work on HIV/AIDS transmission from mothers to babies that he is most famous for. Bienne Huisman asked Coovadia about his legacy and his advice for the medical community.
On Monday, March 19 2018 in hours immediately after Justice Dikgang Moseneke read out the last lines of his judgment in the Life Esidimeni Arbitration, there was a media scrum the likes of which I have not experienced before. Read more.
By Anso Thom
Having reported with many journalist colleagues on the darkest days on former President Thabo Mbeki and his health minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang’s distressing, fatal and quite mad HIV-denialism, the latest saga around social grants did bring back a sense of déjà vu.