South African bioinformatics expert Professor Tulio de Oliveira was recently honoured with Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people award. Biénne Huisman sat down with him to talk about his part in the discovery of new COVID-19 variants, his chats with the President, and the treasure trove of scientific research excellence in Africa.
Wieda Human, Ingrid Schoeman, Ruvandhi Nathavitharana, Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen, and Ananja van der Westhuizen from TB Proof argue that we need to look upstream for solutions to improve indoor air quality.
Early in South Africa’s fourth COVID-19 wave, dominated by the Omicron variant, concerns were raised on what appeared to be an increase in hospitalisations among children. A few months on, Elri Voigt asks local experts what we have learnt about the Omicron variant in children.
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have dealt a severe blow to South Africa’s tuberculosis (TB) response. Tiyese Jeranji asked government about its plans to get TB diagnosis, treatment, and prevention services back on track.
The Western Cape Department of Health has identified Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain as the areas with the lowest vaccinations and vaccine registrations in the Cape Town metro. By Monday 30 August, only 22.37% of Mitchell’s Plain’s vaccine-eligible population older than 18 years have registered. In Khayelitsha, this number stood at 12.05%. Siyabonga Kamnqa visited the two areas to find out more.
As the third wave of COVID-19 infections continues in Gauteng, hospitals remain under severe strain due to staff and equipment shortages. Add to this the ongoing unrest in certain areas in Gauteng, and it makes for a very grim picture. Thabo Molelekwa reports on the situation in East Rand hospitals.
With the 1 July opening of registration for those aged 50-59, over 4.8 million more people can now register on South Africa’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS). They will join a few million people before them in providing personal information including their names, ID numbers, cell phone numbers, and medical aid numbers if applicable. Laura Owings asks how safe your data is on the EVDS.
New research published in the South African Medical Journal has found compelling evidence that a blanket ban on alcohol reduces the number of unnatural deaths related to trauma injuries while curfews have less of an impact. Adele Baleta spoke to lead author, Professor Tom Moultrie.
Ventilation plays an important role in preventing the transmission of airborne diseases but currently, ventilation standards for buildings are focused on preventing odours in spaces, instead of preventing disease transmission. Elri Voigt spoke to two experts about the role of ventilation in the transmission of airborne diseases such as tuberculosis and COVID-19 and what can be done to improve ventilation in buildings.
Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman has declined social media calls that he be nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. Bienne Huisman spoke to Sooliman about the organisation’s work during the pandemic, his background, and what keeps him going.
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.