As the final negotiations in the 2021 budget process unfold, the government of the Eastern Cape and the department of health in particular are being asked to do more with less. It is now more urgent than ever to strengthen public primary health care, argue Ektaa Deochand and Russell Rensburg.
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are an important element in the government’s re-engineering of primary health care strategy. Here Melanie Alperstein and Tinashe Njanji highlight the challenges CHWs in the Eastern Cape face and offer some solutions to improve the working conditions of CHWs and improve health outcomes in the province.
In 2019 around 360 000 people in South Africa fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) and about 58 000 people died due to the disease, according to a World Health Organization Report released last week. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these already alarming numbers, with some TB patients stopping treatment during lockdown. Siyabonga Kamnqa looks at the plans the Western Cape Health Department has in place to get its TB programme back on track and finds old challenges still remain.
If we are serious about Universal Health Care, we need to match the commitment shown by community health workers (CHWs). Not only must their contribution to the pandemic response be adequately recognised, but CHWs deserve a say in health policymaking and implementation that affects them, the authors argue.
Many healthcare workers are rightly identified as heroes of South Africa’s COVID-19 response. Yet, often healthcare workers are given very little support in the public healthcare system, something that may get worse as healthcare worker shortages get more acute in the coming years. Kathryn Cleary investigates.
A new government strategy, obtained by Spotlight and Maverick Citizen, estimates that billions of rands in additional investment is needed to improve staffing levels and equity across provinces by 2025.
Many types of surgery are being delayed in South African hospitals. HIV and TB testing rates are down. Kathryn Cleary investigates the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on ‘normal’ healthcare in South Africa.
The Department of Health has announced that it will rely on community healthcare workers to assist with tracking and tracing potential COVID-19 cases but has not provided assurances about how it will protect these workers during the process and beyond, writes Nontsikelelo Mpulo and Tendai Mafuma.
In South Africa’s war against COVID-19 community healthcare workers are foot soldiers on the frontlines. Spotlight spoke to CHWs from across the country about their concerns regarding a lack of protective equipment and job security.