Opinion: Engage communities and leverage COVID-19 innovations to address SA’s TB crisis

Opinion: Engage communities and leverage COVID-19 innovations to address SA’s TB crisis

It is time to engage communities through community healthcare workers and to leverage COVID-19 innovations to advance the urgent need for high-quality, person-centred tuberculosis (TB) care for all, argue authors from leading TB advocacy organisation TB Proof.

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Reimagining health in the Eastern Cape: A dysfunctional public health system is not inevitable

Reimagining health in the Eastern Cape: A dysfunctional public health system is not inevitable

The persistent challenges in public health in the Eastern Cape, highlight the critical role of leadership. Prof Helen Schneider argues if we are to reimagine a future of access, equity and justice in health and health care in the Eastern Cape, we need bottom-up institution-building involving civil society and not just top-down legislative, budgetary and other reforms.

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Finding the money: The case for raising the Health Promotion Levy

Finding the money: The case for raising the Health Promotion Levy

The recent budget policy statement shows South Africa finds itself in a very tight fiscal space where it has to navigate a global pandemic along with other health challenges such as rising rates of non-communicable diseases. Russell Rensburg argues that the Health Promotion Levy should be increased to 20% – which will raise much-needed revenue that will contribute to preventing disease and reducing healthcare costs.

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TB catch-up plan underway in WC but old challenges linger

TB catch-up plan underway in WC but old challenges linger

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.

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Government strategy shows billions needed to avert healthcare worker crisis

Government strategy shows billions needed to avert healthcare worker crisis

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.

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COVID-19: Lockdown, hunger and staying on HIV treatment in Hammonds Farm

COVID-19: Lockdown, hunger and staying on HIV treatment in Hammonds Farm

Concerns are mounting over people stopping or not starting tuberculosis and HIV treatment during South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown. Nomfundo Xolo spoke to activists and people living with HIV and TB in Hammonds Farm in Verulam in KwaZulu-Natal about the challenges they face.

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Community health workers: A Spotlight in-depth feature

Community health workers: A Spotlight in-depth feature

The role of community health workers in the South African public healthcare system has been unclear and controversial. How many do we need? What exactly should their role be? Who should employ them? What should they be paid? Is there good evidence to inform policy? Sasha Stevenson of SECTION27 lead Spotlight’s in-depth investigation into these pressing questions.

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The barefoot soldiers of a public health care system that doesn’t seem to care

The barefoot soldiers of a public health care system that doesn’t seem to care

By Nomatter Ndebele – For the past 17 years, 55-year old Doris Ntuli has worked as a community caregiver (CCG) in the community of Sweetwaters, in Pietermaritzburg, Durban. In that time Ntuli has only received a pay increase of R300 (US$20). Her total monthly income is R1500 (US$95).

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