Medical oxygen: The fascinating journey of a life-saving gas

Medical oxygen: The fascinating journey of a life-saving gas

Even in ‘normal’ times a reliable supply of medical oxygen is an essential part of healthcare services, but during COVID-19 surges the need for this life-sustaining gas has spiked to unprecedented levels. Tiyese Jeranji explores the fascinating science and engineering that facilitates this substance’s long journey from a production plant to a person’s lungs.

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COVID-19 in kids: What have we learnt one year later?

COVID-19 in kids: What have we learnt one year later?

It has been over a year since the world saw the first confirmed case of COVID-19, yet the science behind the virus’ physical impact on children remains relatively unclear. Kathryn Cleary spoke to two experts in paediatrics and immunology to get an update on what we have learnt so far.

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COVID-19: The evolving science behind long-COVID

COVID-19: The evolving science behind long-COVID

A study published in the Lancet medical journal confirms that the health effects of COVID-19 can linger months after someone has ‘recovered’. Kathryn Cleary asked local experts about the underlying science and whether the South African public healthcare system is ready for so-called long-COVID.

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COVID-19: Robot Quintin connects patients in ICU with loved ones

COVID-19: Robot Quintin connects patients in ICU with loved ones

At Cape Town’s Tygerberg Hospital, a robot named Quintin played its part in the fight to save Nceba Simayile’s life as he lay intubated on a ventilator, struggling to breathe. Biénne Huisman reports.

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COVID-19: No deal yet to access “90% effective” vaccine tested in South Africa

COVID-19: No deal yet to access “90% effective” vaccine tested in South Africa

The head of the South African arm of a key COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial is “full of pride” for the teams’ part in the research which has shown the vaccine candidate to be more than 90% effective according to early findings released this week. It however remains unclear whether the vaccine will be available in South Africa once registered. Adele Baleta reports.

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COVID-19: Students and parents should play their part in keeping safe amid exams

COVID-19: Students and parents should play their part in keeping safe amid exams

Ahead of the end-of-year school exams the Western Cape Department of Education has called on matric pupils and their parents to consider the COVID-19 risk associated with attending large social events. Since June, 792 learners have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Western Cape. Siyabonga Kamnqa reports.

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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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What is behind SA’s higher TB numbers?

What is behind SA’s higher TB numbers?

A World Health Organization report published last week showed more people are falling ill with tuberculosis in South Africa than previously thought – but also that the country’s treatment success rate for dangerous drug-resistant forms of the disease have improved. Amy Green asks what’s behind these numbers.

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Herd (Immunity) Today, Gone Tomorrow

Herd (Immunity) Today, Gone Tomorrow

There is much talk in South Africa about a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19. In Europe, it is much more than talk, with COVID-19 diagnoses, hospital admissions, and deaths, not to mention ‘restrictions’, all on the rise. Alex Welte places in perspective what we do and do not know about herd immunity and potential second waves.

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COVID-19: The fascinating science of what happens in the lungs

COVID-19: The fascinating science of what happens in the lungs

People with COVID-19 and people with tuberculosis (TB) can experience similar symptoms such as coughing and breathing difficulties as both diseases affect the lungs. Exactly how these diseases affect the lungs, however, differs. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to a leading South African pulmonologist to learn more.

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Analysis: Hunger remains a crisis in SA, despite new survey numbers

Analysis: Hunger remains a crisis in SA, despite new survey numbers

The second wave of findings from the National Income Dynamics Study: Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) released today, shows that household hunger has declined by about a quarter since the release of the first wave of findings. Although encouraging, there are still severe and unacceptably high levels of childhood hunger and stunting, writes Kathryn Cleary.

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