Reports of drug shortages and stock-outs across South Africa have the Department of Health in a race against the clock to ensure a supply of essential medicines. With manufacturing operations around the world still facing issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is battling to meet the demand for contraceptives, tuberculosis medicines and psychiatric medicines.
To single out a disease through specific laws or existing prosecution mechanisms places an unreasonable burden on the criminal justice system to address people’s behaviour. Our experience with HIV points to a better approach, argues Mbalenhle Baduza.
By last week 1 010 public sector healthcare workers in the Western Cape had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Of these six had passed away of COVID-19. Anncha Kepkey, a nurse at Tygerberg Hospital, is among those who died. Biénne Huisman spoke to her husband about who Anncha was and what happened in the last days of her life.
The substantial relaxation of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown measures from today was probably both inevitable and the right decision. But with ICU capacity in the Western Cape already stretched, and infections in the province rising rapidly, one or two measures may need to be reconsidered, argues Marcus Low.
On Sunday 24 May President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that from 1 June South Africa will move to level three of its national lockdown. Spotlight answers 14 questions relating to this new phase of the lockdown.
It seems HIV and TB are falling by the wayside in the drive to stop the spread of COVID-19. Where we can we must minimise the harm to the HIV and TB response, and we need to see the opportunity to address all three diseases together, writes Erica Penfold.
The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to prevent its spread have impacted children in some predictable and some less predictable ways. Kathryn Cleary spoke to some experts and some kids to get a deeper understanding.
Health and safety officers play a critical role in keeping hospitals safe. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to Jan Engelbrecht, a health and safety officer at Groote Schuur Hospital where 69 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize needs to abandon the autocratic attitude for the greater good of the nation and realise that the likes of Professor Glenda Gray and her counterparts are critical in our response to COVID-19, writes Dr Shafrudeen Amod.
Having pressed the imperative of equitable global sharing of COVID-19 health products, President Ramaphosa must now declare support for the Intellectual Property Pool for COVID-19, argues Professor Yousuf Vawda & Professor Brook K Baker.
Doctors in North West province say that only around half of the medicines on the province’s essential drugs list are currently available and that this is severely impacting the level of care they can provide. UFRIEDA HO reports.